Is scarlet fever back?


POSTED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 9:01am

Scarlet fever was once common and sometimes fatal childhood ailment that is making a comeback.

Six year old William is feeling much better now but a few days ago this little boy was very sick!

"I didn't have my super powers and I didn't feel very good," said William

"My mommy senses kicked in and I thought there's something else going on here," stated Sarah Perrone, William's mom.

William's mom was right .

Doctors told her William has scarlet fever.

"Back in like the 1800's, early 1900's people use to die from scarlet fever," said Dr. Carolyn Clear, William's pediatrician.

Dr. Clear says even though scarlet fever never went away, it's become much easier to treat because of antibiotics.

"It's strep throat with a rash."

The red bumpy rash is caused by toxins released by the Strep A bacteria.

"It almost looks like a sunburn and it's a very sandpapery feel. And it usually starts on the neck, the chest and the belly and then spreads to the arms and legs," explained Dr. Clear.

Other symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • headache
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • body aches

If you suspect your child has it, he or she needs to see a doctor. 

"If it's not treated it could lead to something call Rheumatic fever which then can lead to Rheumatic heart disease," noted Dr. Clear.

Rheumatic heart disease can lead to serious heart problems later on in life.

Dawn Timmeney reporting.

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