Scarlet Fever - Symptoms and Signs

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What are scarlet fever symptoms and signs?

Scarlet fever symptoms and signs may include a reddish sore throat, a fever (101 F or above), and a red rash with a sandpaper-like texture; the texture on the tongue that resembles a "strawberry" (red with small bumps). Some patients will have whitish coating on the tongue or the throat and may have swollen glands, headache, nausea and vomiting, and/or body aches. The classic description of the rash of scarlet fever has been described as "goose bumps on a sunburned skin."

Return to Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina)

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Comment from: Aust1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

The first time I had scarlet fever, I also suffered no sore throat but I felt unwell and was vomiting. Approximately 12 to 18 hours after the vomiting finished, I developed the rash which started on my chest and then the inner part of my wrists. It then moved down my arms and my back. At different times in my life since then the rash has reappeared. Sometimes with a strep throat and other times with the vomiting.

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Comment from: Nancy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

My strep began suddenly with intense throat pain, then gradually whole body aches, headaches, and nasal congestion set in. The scarlet fever began 48 hours after the start of the sore throat, after I had begun antibiotics. At first I thought the redness in my face and chest were a side effect of the penicillin, but then I remembered that my daughter had scarlet fever and decided it fit the bill. It's not really sandpapery, but it is itchy on my neck. It's now covering my entire body except for my legs and feet. I still can hardly swallow and am sick to my stomach as well, although outright nausea is only slight. The rash does look a bit scary as it is so bright!

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