Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is an acute infectious disease. For scarlet fever are common intoxication, inflammation of the tonsils, fever. A characteristic feature of the disease is also a punctual rash, which is common throughout the body.

Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria (streptococci). The sources of infection are both patients with scarlet fever alone, and patients with angina – the infection is transmitted by airborne droplets. Scarlet fever is mainly in childhood.

If a person has suffered scarlet fever, then he has lifelong immunity to this disease. The incubation period of scarlet fever varies from one to twelve days. (The incubation period is the time from the moment of infection to the discovery of the first signs of a disease).

Tonsils are the gate of infection.

In addition, it is the tonsils that are the main source of multiplication of the causative agent of scarlet fever. Streptococci produce a toxin that leads to an acute inflammation of the skin – its upper layers. The toxin of streptococci enters the bloodstream and causes all the signs of scarlet fever. With scarlet fever, tonsils, as well as palatine arch and tongue, have a bright red color. In addition, on the tonsils can form pustules. All this is a characteristic feature of scarlet fever – the manifestation of lesions of the oral cavity. There is the concept of “crimson tongue” – the language with scarlet fever has a bright red color (the saturation is acquired by the action of toxins). Purulent angina with scarlet fever is a common phenomenon, accompanied by severe pain in the throat (especially when swallowing), a significant increase in body temperature and swelling of the lymph nodes.

Scarlet fever is transmitted by airborne droplets.

This means that you can get infected with this disease by coughing, sneezing and just talking to a sick scarlet fever person. Sick as sources of infection are the greatest danger in the first days of the disease. Streptococci – the causative agents of scarlet fever – can penetrate the child’s body through the objects of its use. The latter can include dishes, toys, food. And poorly washed hands can help the pathogen to get into the body. In addition, you can get scarlet fever from the carrier of her pathogen. Moreover, such a person often can not imagine what is the carrier and that, in contact with him, it is possible to get infected with scarlet fever (after all, he himself is not sick).

Scarlet fever is affected once.

After the disease, a persistent immunity is produced that protects a person from scarlet fever throughout the rest of their life.

Scarlet fever is a terrible childhood disease.

So it was considered (and it was quite logical) for many centuries, as a result of this disease, a large number of children died. For a long period of time there was a character fact when scarlet fever was confused with measles or rubella (after Hippocrates this phenomenon can be observed for about 2000 years). Symptoms of scarlet fever have been studied in detail and accordingly described only in 1675. Merit in this belongs to a doctor whose surname is Sidenham. He gave the name to this disease: “scarlet fever”, which in Russian means “purple fever”. It is from the word “scarlet” (“purple”) that the name of the disease that is modern is scarlet fever. Now you can not call scarlet fever very dangerous for a child. Nowadays the origin of scarlet fever has been clarified and methods of its treatment have been developed. However, scarlet fever can not be called a simple disease either – scarlet fever can give quite a lot of complications. Because of the latter, when a symptom of scarlet fever is detected, the child should immediately consult a doctor (call him at home). Scarlet fever can be considered a child’s disease, since mainly children are susceptible to its development. There are also cases when adults get scarlet fever. The reason for this is the lack of immunity to this disease.

The beginning of scarlet fever is acute.

The temperature rises to 38-39 ° C, accompanied by chills. Typical signs are headache, sore throat, general weakness. A plentiful rash reveals itself towards the end of the first day of illness. The face of a scarlet fever is very characteristic – on the skin of the temples and forehead there is a rash (pink), the nose and chin are pale, and a bright blush appears on the cheeks. Particularly “noticeable” is the cherry coloration of the lips. Elevated temperature and rash persist for the patient for two to four days, after which the temperature drops, and the rash gradually disappears (the child’s well-being can improve even without taking any medications). On the fifth or sixth day of scarlet fever, the skin on the site of the former rash begins to peel off (especially the ecdysis is expressed on the soles and palms, the skin can be fused with whole layers.This peeling lasts for two to three weeks.On the third day of scarlet fever, the content of eosinophils, but with a severe form of scarlet fever it may well be the opposite phenomenon, that is, a decrease in the content of eosinophils and even their complete disappearance.

A rash is a characteristic feature of scarlet fever. As noted above, a profuse rash finds itself at the end of the first day of the illness, at which time it is localized on the upper part of the trunk and around the neck, but on the second day the rash is already observed all over the body – only the place around the nose and mouth is free. point rash – the size of each speck varies from one to two millimeters, the rash is most intense in the region of the axillary basins, and also on the ulnar folds.Often, the rash is accompanied by itching.

A characteristic feature of scarlet fever is an increase in lymph nodes.

The angular maxillary lymph nodes are noticeably enlarged. They can be probed right and left at the level of the corners of the lower jaw. When probing, it is easy to see that these lymph nodes are not soldered to each other and to the skin. Scarlet fever can give complications.

They primarily include inflammation of the middle ear, rheumatism, inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. One should know that even if scarlet fever passes easily, it can give serious complications, which can be early and late. The early complications of scarlet fever include the spread of infection to organs and tissues. As a result, abscesses may develop, the inflammation of the middle ear develop, etc. In severe scarlet fever, an infection along a trail can be transmitted to distant organs and tissues. In this case, they can also develop purulent inflammation. It can be, for example, inflammation of the kidneys, the action of the toxin on them (as well as on the heart) can cause a violation of their proper functioning. This complication can be attributed to serious, therefore consultation of the doctor is necessary. However, the duration of its flow is usually small. Heavy forms of scarlet fever can also provoke the defeat of blood vessels. The latter often leads to internal bleeding, among which the greatest danger is the brain bleeding. Later complications of this disease are allergies, such reactions, as a rule, can occur due to improper treatment of scarlet fever. Allergic reactions are very dangerous complications, in which the immune system, in simple terms, not only provides protection from external aggressors, but also begins to affect the tissues of the body itself. The most common late complications of scarlet fever include the following. First, it is articular rheumatism. This disease can manifest itself two weeks after recovery. In large joints there is swelling. There is pain. If this complication does not extend to the heart, then this rheumatism has no serious consequences for the body. Secondly, this rheumatic defeat of the heart valves.This process is irreversible, so this complication can be neutralized only by surgical treatment. Third, late (fairly severe) complications include allergic kidney damage. It is accompanied by a new fever (after recovering from scarlet fever), back pain. Fourth, the late complication of scarlet fever is allergic brain damage. It can develop two to three weeks after recovery. Complication is accompanied by the appearance of movements in the limbs that can not be controlled, and a violation of the gait. Defects in speech are often observed. Manifestations of this complication can last a lifetime.

Purified scarlet fever is an atypical form.

In this disease, all the characteristic symptoms of scarlet fever are either absent or rudimentary. The latter means that the symptoms are “underdeveloped” and are weakly expressed. Sometimes the gate of infection is not the tonsils, but the skin. In this case, they speak of the extra-baccal form of the disease. With this form of scarlet fever, angina is absent.

Scarlet fever is treated at home.

Exceptions related to the need for hospitalization refer to patients with a moderate and severe form of scarlet fever. In addition, those patients who are in direct contact with children between the ages of three months and seven years, as well as with schoolchildren in the first and second classes, who did not have scarlet fever at an earlier age, are hospitalized. The basis for the treatment of scarlet fever is the administration of antibiotics (it can be penicillin, amoxiclav, amoxicillin and friend). Antibiotics are used for up to five to seven days. The expediency of using antibiotics is due to the fact that scarlet fever is a bacterial infection (unlike, say, measles and rubella, which are viral infections). In severe cases of flow of scarlet fever, infusion therapy is prescribed. Its goal is to reduce intoxication. Food should contain a limited amount of proteins and be semi-liquid or liquid. A limited protein content in food is necessary to avoid allergic reactions of scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever requires isolation of the patient.

This is necessary to prevent an increase in the number of cases. The patient must be isolated in a separate room. Also, he must have his own towel and dishes. Isolation with scarlet fever continues throughout the illness. Its duration should not be less than ten days after the appearance of the first signs of the disease. In addition, as for children who attend any pre-school institutions, as well as the first two classes of primary school, they need additional isolation from the children’s collective within twelve days after the final recovery. If a child (who visits primary schools or pre-school institutions) has been in contact with a scarlet fever patient and has not had this disease before, then his isolation is required for a period of seven to seventeen days (depending on the duration of contact – single or permanent).

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