Scarlet fever, also known as scarlatina, is an infection that can develop in people who have been infected by group A Streptococcus—or strep throat.
The infection most commonly affects children 5-15 years of age, although it can affect both children and adults alike. Scarlet fever is marked by a blotchy red rash all over the body as well as fever and a sore throat.
If treated early, the prognosis for scarlet fever is very good. The same antibiotics that are used to treat strep throat can clear up scarlet fever in a matter of days.
Since scarlet fever is caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat, a person with scarlet fever will have a painful, sore throat. The throat sometimes has visible white patches or streaks of pus, and it may be difficult for the person to swallow.
A sore throat from Streptococcus usually comes on very quickly. It is a very contagious bacterium and can travel through droplets from coughing, sneezing, or from a person’s saliva on a utensil. The contagious period starts 12 hours after exposure to the bacteria until 12 hours after a person’s fever has gone down.
Receive updates on the latest news and alerts straight to your inbox.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.