Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's review what we've learned...

Scarlet fever (scarlatina)

Scarlet fever is simply strep throat with a rash. The throat infection is caused by a streptococcal bacteria. It is most commonly seen in school-aged children in the winter and early spring, but it can occur in individuals of any age and in any season. It is very contagious, and the risk of transmission can be decreased with good hand washing.
The rash is not serious, but serious complications can occur from the underlying infection, strep throat. The most worrisome of these is rheumatic fever, a serious disease that can damage the heart valves and cause long-term heart disease.
  • Symptoms
    • The child's symptoms begin with sore throat (which can be mild), fever, headache, abdominal pain, and swollen glands in the neck.
    • After 1-2 days of these symptoms, the child develops a rash on the body that is red and has a sandpaper texture. After 7-14 days, the rash sloughs off.
    • The face may look very flushed, but the skin around the mouth appears normal.
  • Treatment
      • Streptococcal bacteria can be treated with antibiotics.
      • Have your child seen by your doctor immediately if you suspect he or she has strep throat or scarlet fever.
      • Your child will require a full course of antibiotics, which should be finished even if your child is better before completion.
      • Your child may return to school in 24 hours if the fever has resolved and he or she is feeling better.

Picture of boy without rash
Jacob broke out in a pimply red rash yesterday so I "WebMD'd" (it's a verb, kinda like "googled") his symptoms and found this. If you look down a few results you will see Scarlet Fever. I clicked on that one and saw that kids can get this after a bout of strep throat, which both my boys had 3 weeks ago. Our pediatrician closes at 1 on Fridays so I dropped Alexander with Brenda and took Jacob to the urgent care clinic. The doctor looked in Jacob's throat and ears and felt his arms to see what texture the rash had. Sure enough, Scarlatina (Scarlet Fever). I talked to him about how Jacob fights taking medicine and he prescribed an antibiotic that we only have to give Jacob once a day (instead of twice). Luckily our insurance covered it and I only had to pay three bucks. 

Jacob's fever hasn't gone above 101, so that part hasn't been too worrisome. He did throw up after dinner last night but just that one time. 

So Jacob is on medicine and we're keeping an eye on Alexander to make sure we catch it if he gets it too. We're keeping them both home from church tomorrow, just in case. 

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