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Understanding Scarlet Fever -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet fever most often occurs in children. Its symptoms may include:

  • Bright red or scarlet spotty rash, usually beginning on the neck or chest (often excludes face, palms, and soles of the feet)
  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore throat (although half of patients will not have this symptom)
  • Painful swallowing
  • Tongue with white coating and red bumps -- referred to as strawberry tongue
  • Swollen glands in neck
  • Vomiting

Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

Understanding Meningitis -- Diagnosis & Treatment

A procedure called a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, will help determine whether someone has meningitis. During the procedure, an area of the lower back is injected with an anesthetic, and a needle is slipped between two bones in the spine to obtain a small sample of spinal fluid. The fluid is normally clear, so if it appears cloudy and contains white blood cells, you may have meningitis. Lab analysis will help determine which specific type of meningitis you have -- bacterial, viral, or fungal....

Read the Understanding Meningitis -- Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

Call Your Doctor About Scarlet Fever If:

Call your doctor if your child develops symptoms of scarlet fever, especially if the child has recently had strep throat. Left untreated, scarlet fever may have serious complications affecting the heart, kidneys, and other organs.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on March 11, 2015

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