- Also called scarlet fever, a disease caused by infection with group A streptococcal bacteria that occurs in a small proportion of people with strep throat. The incubation period between contracting strep and the onset of scarlet fever is short, typically 72 hours but may range from 1 to 7 days. Illness usually begins with a fever and sore throat and may be accompanied by chills, vomiting, abdominal pain and malaise. The strep bacteria produces a toxin that causes a rash that appears 1 to 2 days after the onset of illness. The rash initially appears on the neck and chest, then spreads over the body. Typically the rash begins as small red macules which gradually become elevated. The redness fades over a few days and the patient is left with a rough "sandpaper" feeling rash. While the rash is still red the patient may develop what are called Pastia's lines, bright red coloration of the creases under the arm and in the groin. The rash usually lasts for 3 days. As the rash fades, desquamation (peeling) may occur around the finger tips, toes, and groin area. The throat culture should be positive for group A Strep. There is a rapid antigen test (throat swab). Therapy is designed to treat the infection with antibiotics (usually penicillin) and relieve symptoms with analgesics, rest, and plenty of fluids. Scarlet fever is usually not a serious illness when treated promptly. Improvement typically begins within 24 hours of starting treatment. Very rarely do the bacteria spread to other parts of the body. If it does, the result may be ear infections, sinusitis, glomerulonephritis or rheumatic fever.
* * *An acute exanthematous disease, caused by infection with streptococcal organisms producing erythrogenic toxin, marked by fever and other constitutional disturbances, and a generalized eruption of closely aggregated points or small macules of a bright red color followed by desquamation in large scales, shreds, or sheets; mucous membrane of the mouth and fauces is usually also involved. SYN: scarlet fever. [through It. fr. Mediev. L. scarlatum, scarlet, a scarlet cloth]- anginose s., s. anginosa a form of s. in which the throat affection is unusually severe. SYN: Fothergill disease (2).- s. hemorrhagica a form of s. in which blood extravasates into the skin and mucous membranes, giving to the eruption a dusky hue; frequent bleeding from the nose and into the intestine also occurs.- s. latens, latent s. a form of s. in which the rash is absent, but other complications of streptococcal infection occur, such as acute nephritis.- s. maligna a severe scarlet fever in which the patient is quickly overcome with the intensity of the systemic intoxication.- s. rheumatica SYN: dengue.
* * *scar·la·ti·nal -'tēn-əl adj
* * *n.
* * *scar·la·ti·na (skahr″lə-teґnə) [L. â€œscarletâ€] scarlet fever. scarlatinal adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.