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Are you worried about the scarlet fever outbreak?

Posted by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM
  • 68 Replies

I saw this in The Stir - Are you worried about the scarlet fever outbreak?

Scarlet Fever Fatalities Terrify Parents
Posted by Jacqueline Burt on June 22, 2011

Color me terrified: Scarlet fever is back, and two kids have died from a massive outbreak in China. As a parent, I'd put scarlet fever on the back burner of worries, so to speak: Isn't that the disease that made Mary Ingalls blind in Little House on the Prairie? Oh well, nobody gets that anymore. But not only is scarlet fever back, the bacteria has apparently genetically mutated -- the new super-powered version spreads more easily and appears to be resistant to antibiotics. Usually, scarlet fever is, or has been, treatable. Severe cases, however, can lead to pneumonia, middle ear infection, heart disease, and death.

So what to do, as a parent? I have to say if my family had any plans to travel to China in the near future, I'd probably err on the side of caution and cancel our trip. Still, we live in the tri-state area, where people travel internationally all the time, so I know keeping my kids in this country is no guarantee.

Scarlet fever, characterized by a sandpaper-like red rash, is caused by group A streptococci, the same bacteria that causes strep throat. If you have kids in daycare, preschool, or any other type of school, you know how rapidly strep can jump from child to child, especially since the only ways to prevent the spread of strep are covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing one's hands frequently (yeah, little kids are great about that stuff).

Back to me being terrified. A couple of years ago my daughter caught viral pneumonia from a classmate and spent several days in the hospital. I will never forget the utter helplessness of watching my child suffer and go through test after test when, ultimately, the doctors couldn't do much to make her better -- the virus had to run its course. I thank God she turned the corner, and my heart absolutely breaks for the parents in China who've lost their children to what we thought was a treatable disease. Having kids is flat-out scary sometimes.

Are you worried about the scarlet fever outbreak?

by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM
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Replies (1-10):
SoniaL
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Nope.

PEEK05
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:29 PM

I am a worry wart, so I've been trying not to worry about things until I have to. If it reaches anywhere close to my state, I will probably start to worry but for now, I'm going to remain optimistic.


matofour
by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

ha ha!  Thats so funny.

Scarlet fever is STREP, with a RASH!!!

There is NO danger, unless untreated.

We have had it in this house at least 3 times, its no big deal.

How ridiculous, find something to be really worried about, instead of something that poses no threat.

By the way.....there is NO vax for this.

ballerina.2006
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Uhh nope. I survived it when I was a baby!
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PEEK05
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

It's been mutated. Who knows what kind of damage/threat this could be or do.

Quoting matofour:

ha ha!  Thats so funny.

Scarlet fever is STREP, with a RASH!!!

There is NO danger, unless untreated.

We have had it in this house at least 3 times, its no big deal.

How ridiculous, find something to be really worried about, instead of something that poses no threat.

By the way.....there is NO vax for this.



matofour
by Bronze Member on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

and the  two kids that died were immune compromised, or had underlying issues.

and the fact is....TWO kids

thats hardly an outbreak.....


 

Quoting PEEK05:

It's been mutated. Who knows what kind of damage/threat this could be or do.

Quoting matofour:

ha ha!  Thats so funny.

Scarlet fever is STREP, with a RASH!!!

There is NO danger, unless untreated.

We have had it in this house at least 3 times, its no big deal.

How ridiculous, find something to be really worried about, instead of something that poses no threat.

By the way.....there is NO vax for this.



SmileyMoo
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

My baby had scarlet fever recently. It was not severe though.    ANY disease or illness can get out of hand. I mean, I know people that have had colds turn into serious problems. But I'm not going to live in fear over it. What would that accomplish?

heartnhidin
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

My friend had it last year, I wouldn't call 2 kids an outbreak. I see how it can make you uncomfortable though it was thought that scarlett fever no longer really existed.

SmileyMoo
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Scarlet fever is strep with a rash. It hasn't went anywhere. There's no vaccine for it or anything like that. It is simply what it is. Strep throat that causes a rash on the skin

About Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is caused by an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria make a toxin (poison) that can cause the scarlet-colored rash from which this illness gets its name.

Not all streptococci bacteria make this toxin and not all kids are sensitive to it. Two kids in the same family may both have strep infections, but one child (who is sensitive to the toxin) may develop the rash of scarlet fever while the other may not. Usually, if a child has this scarlet rash and other symptoms of strep throat, it can be treated with antibiotics. So if your child has these symptoms, it's important to call your doctor.

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

scarletfever_illustrationThe rash is the most striking sign of scarlet fever. It usually begins looking like a bad sunburn with tiny bumps and it may itch. The rash usually appears first on the neck and face, often leaving a clear unaffected area around the mouth. It spreads to the chest and back, then to the rest of the body. In body creases, especially around the underarms and elbows, the rash forms classic red streaks. Areas of rash usually turn white when you press on them. By the sixth day of the infection the rash usually fades, but the affected skin may begin to peel.

Aside from the rash, there are usually other symptoms that help to confirm a diagnosis of scarlet fever, including a reddened sore throat, a fever above 101° Fahrenheit (38.3° Celsius), and swollen glands in the neck. The tonsils and back of the throat may be covered with a whitish coating, or appear red, swollen, and dotted with whitish or yellowish specks of pus. Early in the infection, the tongue may have a whitish or yellowish coating. A child with scarlet fever also may have chills, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

When scarlet fever occurs because of a throat infection, the fever typically stops within 3 to 5 days, and the sore throat passes soon afterward. The scarlet fever rash usually fades on the sixth day after sore throat symptoms began, but skin that was covered by rash may begin to peel. This peeling may last 10 days. With antibiotic treatment, the infection itself is usually cured with a 10-day course of antibiotics, but it may take a few weeks for tonsils and swollen glands to return to normal.

Quoting heartnhidin:

My friend had it last year, I wouldn't call 2 kids an outbreak. I see how it can make you uncomfortable though it was thought that scarlett fever no longer really existed.



Nyx7
by on Jun. 22, 2011 at 1:29 PM

 What scarlet fever outbreak? This is the 1st I'm hearing about it & no I'm not worried about what diseases are running rampant in CHINA! Lemme know when it hits Mexico, Canada or the US, on 2nd thought don't bother, I'm not that concerned either.

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