Can Adults Get Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet fever, also recognized as Scarlatina, is viewed as an infection which can develop in individuals who suffer from strep throat. Scarlet fever gets characterized by a perky red rash on people’s body generally accompanied by a sore throat and high fever. The same streptococcus bacteria are responsible for both strep throat and scarlet fever.

Commonly, it does affect children who are aged between 5 and 15 years and once, it was considered to be a severe childhood illness, but today, it is less dangerous. The antibiotic treatments that are used on its illness have aided in speedy recovery and in lessening the seriousness of the symptoms of Scarlet fever.

Can Adults Get Scarlet Fever?

Can Adults Get Scarlet Fever?

In most of the cases which amount to 80%, Scarlet fever occurs in children who are under 10 years of age. This generally happens between 2 and 8 years of age. Nonetheless, people of any age that includes the adults can get Scarlett fever.

Scarlet fever is highly contagious, and so, it is likely to affect a person who comes in close contact with a person suffering from a skin infection resulting from streptococcus bacteria or a sore throat. The outbreak of Scarlet fever generally occurs in nurseries as well as schools where children come in close contact with other people. The symptoms of this problem develop in people who are susceptible to toxins developed from streptococcus bacteria. The majority of the children who have already attained the age of 10 years have developed resistance to these toxins. However, it is a fact that it is possible to get affected with Scarlet fever more than a time, but it is a rare case.

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

The symptoms of scarlet fever follow a sore throat or skin infection, like impetigo which is caused by specific strains of streptococcus bacteria. The initial symptoms of Scarlet fever generally include a headache, sore throat, and high temperature, like 101F or above, besides swollen tongue, and flushed cheeks. After a day or a couple of days, the typical pinkish rash begins to make its appearance apparent. Generally, it happens on the stomach and chest and it spreads to other parts of the body, like the neck and the ears. The symptoms of Scarlet fever generally develop 2-5 days post infection. The incubation period of scarlet fever can be short like a day, or at times, even a week. The rash sensationalizes like sandpaper when it is touched and sometimes, itchy. When it happens on a darker skin, then the rash becomes tough to see though its rough texture becomes obvious.

Other Associated Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

The other associated symptoms linked with Scarlet fever are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • A feeling of being sick
  • Red lines in the folds of your body, like the armpit, and it lasts for two days even when the rash has disappeared
  • A white coating on your tongue and it gets peeled some days later, thus, leaving your tongue swollen and red, and this is commonly known as strawberry tongue.

Treatment & Prevention of Scarlett Fever

The best part is, most of the symptoms of Scarlet fever can be relieved by the use of some simple self-care measure like drinking lots of cool fluids, taking a paracetamol for bringing down your high temperature, eating soft foods, particularly when your throat is painful and taking antihistamine tablets or using calamine lotion for relieving itching.
You can lessen or prevent the chances of getting affected with Scarlet fever by washing your hands frequently after touching a soiled place. Additionally, you should avoid the communal use of towels, utensils or your other personal items. The transmission of Scarlet fever is from person-to-person, generally by droplets. Due to this, direct contact with the infected people ought to be avoided. Scarlet fever patients who get treated with antibiotics and do not run a high fever for an entire day are regarded as non-contagious. Nonetheless, you won’t get any vaccine for preventing Scarlet fever and symptomatic treatment is the best way to treat it other than antibiotics if recommended by the doctor.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 14, 2018

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