Scarlet Fever Is Making A Comeback… Here’s The Info You Need To Keep Your Child Safe:

God is so good to us and he has a reason for everything that happens. Even though we can’t always understand why sickness occurs, we need to trust that God has a plan. Scarlet fever is thought to be an issue of the past, but recent outbreaks of the disease have many parents very concerned. According to The Lancet Infectious Diseases in England, new cases of scarlet fever reached a 50-year high in 2016. The 620 outbreaks totaled over 19,000 cases of scarlet fever in England alone. Several other countries including Vietnam, China, and South Korea, have also reported an increase of scarlet fever cases over the past five years. With common illnesses seeming to get worse, the human immune system seems to become weaker. And, air travel making is making it possible to spread illness easily from one country to the next. Now, there is the very real possibility that the disease will make it overseas to the US, and you as a parent need to be prepared.

Scarlet fever can be dangerous, but don’t panic just yet. In most cases, the main symptoms of scarlet fever disappear within two weeks. However, if the illness is left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications, which may include rheumatic fever, skin infections, kidney disease, ear infections, pneumonia, arthritis, or throat abscesses. In addition to a sandpaper-like rash on the skin, some signs of scarlet fever that you should keep an eye out for include a flushed face, headaches, chills, nausea, vomiting, a fever of 101 or higher, swollen tonsils, swollen glands in the back of the neck, pale skin around the lips, red lines or streaks around the elbow, armpits, and knees, strawberry tongue (white tongue with red dots on the surface), and red, sore throat with white and yellow patches

If you suspect that your child may have scarlet fever, please don’t try and make any diagnoses on your own. Instead, bring your child to his or her pediatrician or family doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will perform a physical exam, check the appearance of your child’s tongue, throat, and tonsils, and look for enlarged lymph nodes. If your doctor suspects that your child has scarlet fever, they’ll need to collect samples from the back of your child’s throat and send it to the lab for analysis. If the test comes back positive for scarlet fever, your child will be prescribed medications and your doctor will make recommendations for treatment and care.

Scarlet fever is known to spread just like the common cold and flu: through droplets of saliva or mucus. The best thing you can do in order to keep your child healthy is to always make sure that they wash their hands and eat a healthy diet. If any of your children contract the disease, be sure to keep all dishes, glasses, utensils, and toothbrushes away from other family member and wash them with hot soapy water after each use.


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