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Infantile bacterial disease, scarlet fever regularly invades the classrooms. The most exposed: the child from 3 to 8 years. Symptoms, treatment, contagion ... the point with our specialist, Dr. Lyonel Rossant, pediatrician.
What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?
- Scarlet fever begins abruptly with a sore throat, associated with high fever (39-40 ° C), vomiting and, very frequently, abdominal pain.
- Examination by the doctor shows intense angina and the tongue, white at the beginning of the disease, gradually dyes red on the tip and the edges. The child has great difficulty eating.
- Within 24 to 48 hours, the rash appears, very present in the folds of the elbows and knees, but without obvious itching. The child has red skin, granita, "skin of sorrows". It looks like he caught a gigantic sunburn.
- At the end of a week, the temperature decreases and the redness gives way to flaking in small scales on the body and ragged in the palms and soles of the feet.
What is scarlet fever and who is concerned?
Although it is a "pimple" disease, such as rubella or chickenpox, scarlet fever has many specificities.
- It is caused by a bacterium - group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus - and not a virus.
- Curiously, scarlet fever does not affect infants and especially affects children between 3 and 8 years old. We do not know yet why. Either the bacterium does not have much affinity with the youngest child, the immune system of the latter is sufficiently armed - via maternal antibodies transmitted in utero - and able to defend itself during the first years of life.
- When scarlet fever occurs in an infant, it lasts about a week and is characterized mainly by a permanent runny nose and mood disorders: the baby is tired, irritable.
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