This article is all about scarlet fever in adults. Scarlet fever is actually a disease which is primarily caused by exotoxin or more commonly some kind of toxic substances that are in turn released by a kind of bacteria whose scientific name is known as streptococcus pyogenes.
Scarlet fever consists of a number of disorders that takes place simultaneously in the body. Hence this disease is characterized by the following symptoms:
- High fever.
- Sore throat.
- Bright red colored tongue which resembles that of a strawberry appearance.
- Some kind of rashes which is fine, red colored, and blanches upon pressure. These rashes appear after 12 to 48 hours of fever and generally start in the chest, armpit regions, then quickly spread in the entire face and finally get worse in the region of skin folds.
- These rashes will then start to fade after three to four days of onset of fever and it will then be followed with desquamation or more commonly the peel-up process.
Scarlet fever generally occurs in children who are aged between 5 to 15 years but can attack adults too. Scarlet fever in adults is also characterized by the same symptoms like strep throat, high fever, onset of rashes etc.
Scarlet fever in both adults and children was once considered a deadly disease. But nowadays with the help of antibiotics, scarlet fever can be easily treated and cured. Generally penicillin category of antibiotics is used to cure scarlet fever, but if someone is allergic with the above antibiotic then he or she may be treated with erythromycin or clindamycin category of antibiotics.
After the patient is medicated with any one of the above said categories of antibiotic, he or she is no longer infectious for a period of 24 hours. People who are suffering from scarlet fever should be paid with much attention and should be watched carefully for symptoms. Children who are suffering from this disease can sometime even recover without the help of any such antibiotics.
To make sure that someone is suffering from scarlet fever, throat culture of that person should be done in the laboratory. If the result of the test becomes positive, he or she must be treated and cared properly by his or her family member.
Treatment of scarlet fever is obviously important as it reduces the risk of any further infection that may in turn spread to the blood stream, a condition commonly known as sepsis. If by any chance, scarlet fever is accompanied by sepsis, there is a very little chance for the patient to survive.
At the same time this condition is extremely rare. If not treated properly, scarlet fever can also develop some other complications within the body such as rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease.
Testing for scarlet fever can be made by a physician or in certain cases by medical tests. Though it can be recognized by expert doctors, still the medical test is always recommended. The medical test is characterized by a rapid strep test, which involves swabbing one’s throat with the help of dacron swab.
This test usually requires almost five minutes getting the result. A positive result tends to immediate medication of the patient. In some cases, the result of this test may become negative, but it does not absolutely confirm the absence of scarlet fever within a patient.
To get fully confirmed another test is then conducted upon the patient which is nothing but a throat culture. If the result of this examination results to positive, then the patient must be immediately treated with proper medicine; and if the result appears to be negative, it will strongly suggest the occurrence of some other disease within that patient.
Scarlet fever is a very contagious one. Specially, the sore throat can spread through nasal discharge, saliva or through direct contact. An individual with scarlet fever can transmit the bacteria to a normal person and he or she in turn may develop sore throat. Now if that person is not properly treated for sore throat then he or she may develop scarlet fever.
Prevention can be achieved through proper hand washing, quarantining the infected one from normal people. Adequate and proper treatment is always advised for this purpose.
That was all about scarlet fever in adults.