Scarlet fever is an acute infectious disease characterized by general intoxication, fever, inflammation of the palatine tonsils, and punctate rash all over the body.
Sources of infection are patients with scarlet fever, but there may also be patients with tonsillitis.
Infection occurs by airborne droplets.
The process of disease development . The gates of infection and the main source of reproduction of the pathogen are the tonsils. The erythrogenic toxin produced by streptococci causes acute inflammation of the upper layers of the skin. As with angina, insufficiently effective treatment of scarlet fever can cause the so-called metatonsillar diseases – rheumatism, myocarditis, glomerulonephritis.
After suffering scarlet fever, lifelong immunity to the disease develops.
Scarlet fever mainly affects children.
The incubation period lasts from 1 to 12 days.
The disease begins acutely. Quickly with chills, the body temperature rises to 38-39 degrees. There is weakness, headache, sore throat when swallowing. By the end of the first day of illness, an abundant punctate rash appears on the neck and upper body in the form of confluent red spots 1-2 mm in size protruding above the skin level, which quickly spreads throughout the body, resembling reddened goose bumps. The rash is most intense in the skin folds of the elbows and armpits. It is often accompanied by itching.
The patient’s face is characteristic. A pink rash is located on the skin of the forehead and temples, there is a bright blush on the cheeks, and the nose, upper lip and chin are pale. Against the pale background of the nasolabial triangle, the cherry color of the lips catches the eye.
Scarlet fever is characterized by an increase and soreness of compacted maxillary lymph nodes (determined by probing at the level of the angles of the lower jaw on the left and right): they are enlarged, elastic, not soldered to each other and the skin.
The palatine arches, uvula, tonsils and soft palate are bright red. There may be pustules or areas of accumulation of pus on the tonsils.
The body temperature remains elevated and the rash lasts 2-4 days, then gradually disappear. From the 5-6th day of the disease, peeling of the skin occurs at the site of the former rash, which lasts 2-3 weeks.
Hospitalization is subject to patients with severe and moderate form of the disease, as well as patients in whose family there are children from 3 months. up to 7 years and schoolchildren of the first 2 classes who did not suffer from scarlet fever.
Disease prevention. A patient with scarlet fever should be isolated in a separate room, he should be given separate tableware, a towel.
Isolation of the sick person stops after recovery, but not earlier than 10 days from the onset of the disease. Visiting children with scarlet fever, preschool institutions and the first 2 classes of schools is allowed after additional isolation at home for 12 days after recovery.
Children attending preschool institutions and the first two grades of the school who did not have scarlet fever and were in contact with the patient are not allowed to join the team for 7 days from the moment of isolation of the sick person, and in case of contact with the patient throughout the entire period of the disease – for 17 days from the start of contact.