Scarlet fever in adults: it's serious doctor?


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Scarlet fever in adults: it's serious doctor?


Adult scarlet fever: rare but contagious

It is possible to have the scarlet fever in adulthood even though this disease is' usually attributed to children between 5 and 10 years old "Says Dr. Damien Mascret. " It is estimated that by the age of 10, 80% of children have developed antibodies against the disease and are therefore protected. "

In principle, scarlet fever is no more serious in adults than in children. " The problem is that it is less easily thought of, but contrary to the banal viral infections, scarlet fever is due to a bacterium and requires treatment. Other than that, in adults, there is a risk of complications involving the kidneys, joints and heart (rheumatic fever) ".

From children to adults to adults to children, the scarlet fever is contagious by air, ie " by the saliva taste (postilions, sneezing, salivary objects ...). The patient can be contagious for three weeks, but this contagiousness is reduced to 48 hours under antibiotic treatment. "

Symptoms and treatment

Scarlet fever is a infectious disease due to a bacteria, " usually streptococcus A ". In its typical form, the disease breeds " a angina characteristic that the doctor can quickly diagnose by examining the person: the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat are red, the tongue looks like a strawberry (the skin of the tongue is first covered with a white coating before being red) and ganglia are palpable at the neck at the angle of the jaw. "

This angina comes with a fever " at around 38.5 ° C And a rash that will develop " at the level of the thorax and folds (armpits, elbows, groin). Other areas may be affected: lower abdomen, limbs (except palms and soles), face (but not around the mouth). The scarlet fever may also give headaches, abdominal pain, nausea and sometimes vomiting. "

The treatment of scarlet fever is simple: " It is based on antibiotics for ten days, usually penicillin or, in case of allergy, by macrolides. Rest and isolation of the patient are necessary to avoid contagion. Symptoms subside in a few days, but the rash can take one to two weeks to disappear. "

Scarlet fever: soon to be resistant to antibiotics?

Antimicrobial resistance does not spare scarlet fever: while this almost extinct childhood pathology was thought to be in its infancy, it made a comeback in 2015 - an epidemic even occurred in the United Kingdom, responsible for 12,000 cases in the United Kingdom. only one year!

According to researchers at the University of Queensland (Australia), bacteria in the streptococcus family would be able - thanks to their genetic material - to adapt very quickly to new environments ... and to new treatments.

And maybe worse: in a British study, published in the specialized journal The Lancet, researchers say they have discovered a new bacterium potentially responsible for scarlet fever - this new strain of streptococcus is now responsible for a third of cases in the United Kingdom. Conclusion: let's remain vigilant ...

Thanks to Dr. Damien Mascret, author of "Dico-guide to your health" (Leduc.s).

Read also :

⋙ Scarlet fever: it's serious?

⋙ Bronchiolitis: the essential thing to know about this infantile disease

⋙ Sandhoff's disease: how to recognize this serious infantile pathology?


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