What are the symptoms of scarlet fever, how long do they take to appear and how long do they last?
The first symptoms often include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Between 12 to 48 hours after this, the characteristic rash develops. The rash is usually seen in those aged under 18 years.
Symptoms can also include: A fine, red rash, like sandpaper to touch, which first appears on the chest and stomach, rapidly spreading to other parts of the body Fever – over 38.3º C (101º F) or higher is common White coating on the tongue, which peels a few days later leaving the tongue looking red and swollen (known as ‘strawberry tongue’) Swollen glands in the neck Feeling tired and unwell Flushed red face, but pale around the mouth Peeling skin on the finger tips, toes, and groin area, as the rash fades
It usually takes from 1 to 4 days for the symptoms to appear after you come in contact with the bacteria. Scarlet fever usually clears up after a week.
What is the treatment for scarlet fever?
A mild case of scarlet fever will clear up by itself. For more severe cases, a short course of antibiotics will cure the illness and reduce the risk of complications.
If you have a high temperature, drink plenty of fluids and keep cool, but not cold. Paracetamol can be taken to relieve discomfort and bring down temperatures.
Should you stay off work or school?
You should stay away from school or work for 24 hours from the beginning of antibiotic treatment.
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