A local nursery school in Mbombela had warned its parents that scarlet fever had been diagnosed at the school.
The parent of one of the attending tots had told NewsHorn but so far no information could be obtained from the Health Department.
What is scarlet fever?
Also known as scarlatina, is an infection that can develop in people who have strep throat. It’s characterised by a bright red rash on the body, usually accompanied by a high fever and sore throat. The same bacteria that cause strep throat also cause scarlet fever.
Scarlet fever mainly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15 years. It used to be a serious childhood illness, but it’s often less dangerous today. Antibiotic treatments used early on in the illness have helped speed recovery and reduce the severity of the symptoms.
A rash is the most common sign of scarlet fever in both adults and children. It usually begins as a red blotchy rash and becomes fine and rough like sandpaper. The scarlet-colored rash is what gives scarlet fever its name. The rash can begin up to two to three days before a person feels ill or up to seven days after.
The rash typically begins on the neck, groin, and under the arms. It then spreads to the rest of the body. The folds of skin in the armpits, elbows, and knees can also become a deeper red than the surrounding skin.
After the rash has subsided, about seven days, the skin on the tips of the fingers and toes and in the groin may peel. This can last for several weeks.
Other common symptoms of scarlet fever include:
- red creases in the armpits, elbows, and knees (Pastia’s lines)
- flushed face
- strawberry tongue, or a white tongue with red dots on the surface
- red, sore throat with white or yellow patches
- fever above 101°F (38.3°C)
- swollen tonsils
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain
- swollen glands along the neck
- pale skin around the lips