Scarlet fever or scarlatina is a type of infection that is caused by the bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. This disease usually occurs after experiencing strep throat that is not managed with antibiotics. However, there are also incidences wherein scarlet fever occurs without experiencing throat infections. Most cases of scarlet fever are reported in children (scarlatina was, in fact, considered a common childhood illness).
Can adults catch scarlet fever?
Although this disease is more common among younger individuals or in children, scarlet fever can still happen in adults. This, however, is considered rare. Scarlet fever is contagious, so it can be passed from one person to another, e.g. by sneezing and coughing. Fortunately, scarlet fever is a rare disease these days due to the widespread availability of antibiotic medications against the strep bacteria.
What are the symptoms of scarlet fever in adults?
- Scarlet fever usually appears with a red rash. These rashes are somewhat similar to sunburn in terms of appearance and also carry a sandpaper-like texture. These rashes are commonly located on the face, neck and trunk.
- Red lines are also common in this type of condition, which are usually seen on the folds of the groin armpits, elbows, neck and also the knees.
- Strawberry tongue is considered to be the pathognomonic sign or the main indicator of scarlet fever. This is characterized by the red and bumpy appearance of the tongue, which is covered by a white coating which resembles a strawberry.
- Flushing of the face is also very common due to the red rashes accompanied with a white ring around the mouth.
- Sore throat is also evident in some cases of scarlet fever. This symptom is somewhat related to strep throat since both illness is caused by the specie of bacteria.
- Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing is also possible, which is linked to the soreness of the throat thus making it very painful to eat or even drink.
- And, of course, fever – high temperature is present in this type of condition, even higher than 38.3 degrees C.