Scarlet fever, a child killer before the advent of antibiotics has surged in England this winter.
The condition which is caused by Streptococcus pyrogenes bacteria can be treated easily with antibiotics…provided they are given early. The bacteria produce toxins that cause the rash and the coating on the tongue.
The disease is more prevalent in winter because the bacteria are carried in the saliva in the mouth and mucus from a runny nose, so scarlet fever is spread from person to person either by breathing in airborne droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing, or by touching the mucus or saliva of an infected person or items they have used.
Diseases such as Scarlet fever will skyrocket as antibiotic resistance continues to make the drugs we have less and less effective.
Symptoms of scarlet fever
- White coating on the tongue
- Raised red rash
- Sore throat
- Swollen neck glands
- Peeling skin on fingertips and toes
- Feeling tired and generally unwell
- Flushed face
- Pale lips and mouth area
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Symptoms develops 2-5 days after the infection occurs.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.