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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

Understanding Scarlet Fever -- Treatment

To determine if your child has scarlet fever, your pediatrician will examine your child, looking for the characteristic rash and characteristic changes on the tongue called "strawberry tongue." The doctor will swab the throat and send the swab to a lab to examine it for the presence of streptococcal bacteria. A rapid test may also be available.

Read the Understanding Scarlet Fever -- 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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