Scarlet fever



An illness, also called scarlatina, caused by infection with group A strep bacteria.


Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria, known as group A strep, that also cause strep throat and skin infections. Once in the body, the bacteria release a toxin that causes the illness. Scarlet fever is most common in children 5 to 15 years of age. The illness most often happens after strep throat infection.


Scarlet fever causes a rash that feels like sandpaper and looks like a sunburn. Other symptoms include a red, bumpy tongue; fever; chills; and a very sore throat. Another symptom is lymph nodes in the neck that are large and tender to the touch.


Medicines that target bacteria, called antibiotics, treat scarlet fever.