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Health > Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever Fact Sheet

Scarlet Fever is an infectious bacterial disease.

What to look for

Scarlet fever occurs most frequently in children. Its symptoms include:

  • bright red or scarlet rash, usually beginning on the neck or chest.
  • high fever.
  • sore throat.
  • tongue coated with red spots.
  • infected tonsils
  • vomiting.

Scarlet fever is a childhood disease that was once fatal and now has been controlled by antibiotics.
It usually starts with a very high fever. Next a distinctive scarlet rash appears, first on the neck and chest and then all over the body. The tongue also becomes swollen and turns bright red. After three days the rash and fever usually disappear, but the tongue may remain swollen for several more days.
You must take your child to the doctor if you suspect he or she has this disease.


Scarlet fever is a contagious infection that is caused by streptococcal bacteria. It is spread by contact with an infected person or inhalation of the bacteria.
Traditional Treatment
Unless treated with antibiotics, scarlet fever can have serious complications. As well as taking antibiotics, your child should get plenty of bed rest and drink lots of fruit juice to flush out his/her system.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

A child with scarlet fever must take an antibiotic to kill the infection. Other remedies may help to reduce symptoms and help him or her recover.
Aromatherapy - Lemongrass in a vaporiser or in a carrier oil and applied through a massage can help reduce any fever.
Herbal Therapies - Catnip contains chemicals that are thought to reduce fever.
Echinacea and tea tree oil may help combat the bacteria, ease the rash, and help clear chest congestion.
Homeopathy - Use only one of the following, and only when prescribed by a Professional.
Ailanthus glandulosa - if an irregular shaped, livid red rash is applicable, that disappears when touched.
Apis mellifica if the sufferer has a rosy red skin that is sensitive and sore, breaks into sweat often.
Belladonna when the skin is bright red and dry. The child may be delirious and have a rapid heart rate. Pupils will be dilated.

Dietary Considerations

Proper nutrition boosts the body's immune system and helps it fight infection. Citrus juices and other fluids will help flush the bacteria out of the system


Stay away and keep your child away from people who have scarlet fever.

When to seek further professional advice

  • your child develops symptoms of scarlet fever.

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