Long feared because of the many complications it may lead to, scarlet fever is now much better dealt with, thanks to the development of medical research. It is interesting to note that this condition mostly affects children aged between 3 and 12 years of age, and is less present in infants or adults. More frequent in autumn and early winter, the disease occurs after inhaling an infected person’s small saliva, during sneezing for example. Finally, know that scarlet fever results from the spread of bacterial toxins of group A streptococcus throughout the body.
According to the disease’s stage of development, scarlet fever can manifest itself in various ways. After the incubation period, which usually lasts from 2 to 5 days, the affected person suffers from headaches, shivers and may even vomit. Furthermore, the throat is often sore, especially since the tonsils are swollen and covered with a sort of yellowish plaque, thus making swallowing difficult. At this stage, the patient also has swollen cervical lymph nodes.
The following day, small red pustules start to appear on the skin and, unlike measles, they do not go away when pressure is applied. These pustules are mainly located near the groin, legs, arms and torso, although they can spread to all parts of the body. Meanwhile, the chin and area located around the mouth remain quite pale.
Finally, the taste buds begin to swell and the tongue takes on a characteristic strawberry-like colour. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash loses its bright color before the skin eventually peels off. Recurrence then occurs after about twenty days, and is accompanied by the first symptoms of scarlet fever.
If the patient is feverish but its temperature does not reach 40 º C, it is advisable to administer Ferrum Phosphoricum 4 CH every hour, especially if the eardrums are also affected. If, in addition to fever, the patient also suffers from intense thirst and swallowing difficulties, it will be necessary to administer him or her hourly intakes of Belladonna 5 CH. In the presence of an oedema of the uvula, the most appropriate remedy is Apis Mellifica 5 CH, of which hourly intakes are necessary.
If scarlet fever is not treated in time or if the symptoms persist in spite of treatment, it is imperative to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Note that scarlet fever can lead to inflammation of the meninges, middle ear and may, in case of complications, spread to the heart muscles and causing a tachycardia, that is to say, an increased heart rate. In this case, the disease can lead to rheumatic fever, which requires emergency medical treatment.
• Apis Mellifica
• Ferrum Phosphoricum