Scarlet fever: how to recognize it and how long the incubation lasts (PHOTO)

Scarlet fever mainly affects children who attend nursery schools, kindergartens and schools, although adults can obviously also be infected. But how to recognize it compared to other exanthematous diseases and how long does the incubation last?

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La scarlet fever it mainly affects children who attend nursery schools, kindergartens and schools although obviously nothing excludes that adults can also be infected. But how to recognize it compared to other exanthematous diseases e how long does the incubation last?

Responsible for the appearance of scarlet fever is the bacterium Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus. The peculiarity of scarlet fever compared to other exanthematous pathologies is therefore that of being caused by a bacterium rather than a virus and, given that there are several strains, to be able to hit even those who have already had it.



At the first symptoms, scarlet fever can be confused with others exanthematous diseases, in fact, fever and a scarlet red rash appear only in some places (hence the name by which it is commonly known). Gradually, however, the skin rush takes a fairly characteristic shape in which they are highlighted all over the body small red spots rough to the touch and very close to each other.


The points where the scarlet fever initially it gives more evident signs are the neck, the groin and the armpits only to then spread to the rest of the body. Surely the most obvious symptom which must immediately make us think of scarlet fever is evident from the very first days on the tongue which in the case of this exanthematic disease appears with a white patina on which a series of red dots appear (it is therefore called white strawberry tongue).


Over time, however, the tongue becomes completely red (red strawberry tongue), lymph nodes and tonsils also tend to swell and all other symptoms appear: high fever, sore throat, increased heartbeat as well as obviously skin rash on the body. After a few days, the spots tend to flake off.


Another clue that can lead to diagnose scarlet fever is the presence of the so-called "Yellow hand". It involves doing a very simple test: pressing with one hand on the abdomen of the person with suspected presence of the offending bacterium to see if a sort of yellow imprint remains in the middle of the redness of the body. In this case there is one more clue that it is precisely scarlet fever.


Another characteristic feature of this disease is the so-called "Scarlet mask", that is the appearance on the face of a generalized redness with the exception of the areas around the eyes and nose which are instead pale.


The definitive diagnosis, however, is always good to have it done by your trusted pediatrician able to understand in particular from the rash if it is scarlet fever or other similar diseases.


Generally the incubation of scarlet fever lasts a few days, from 2 to 5, after which you begin to see i early symptoms which appear suddenly within 48 or 72 hours. Even before these occur, however, the sick person is contagious and this is why it is often difficult to prevent the spread of scarlet fever, precisely because the problem exists but has not yet manifested itself.

Since it is a contagious infectious disease it goes without saying that a risk factor is to go to crowded places such as schools, gyms, sports centers, etc.. Contact with other people, in fact, makes it easier to transmit the bacterium that spreads from one person to another through contact with mucus or saliva and therefore mainly by air.

Only two days after starting therapy, the person suffering from scarlet fever becomes full-fledged no longer contagious. This exanthematous disease most frequently affects children from 3 to 10 years of age, much less infants and adults. The period in which it spreads the most is that of the autumn-winter season.

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