The History of Scarlet Fever
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    Scarlet fever,caused by a form of streptococcus. The fever was
    given this name because of the yellowish red hue given to the
    cheeks of the face. The disease is more common in younger
    children and can spread from the cheeks to the entire body. The
    incubation is from 2 to 3 days. Symptoms: sore throat, fever,
    headache, discolored tongue, chills and rash after entering the
    bloodstream. This disease can also contribute to rheumatic fever
    and pneumonia. The rash usually fades after 5 days to 3 weeks.
    After which the noninfectious upper layer of the skin sheds away.
    But the throat can continue to be red,swollen and boggy for days
    after the rash has vanished. Mild cases of scarlet fever can be
    treated with bed rest and something as simple as aspirin.
    Although,as an added update,aspirin may not be recommended  
    when treating children; consult a medical adviser.  The more
    serious cases (which can be fatal), may require the use of an
    antibiotic, such as penicillin,which has made the fever less
    common over the years. However, when it comes to separating a
    milder form of the disease from a more sever form, it would be
    wise to treat both cases as serious and consult a physician.

    The biggest mistake made when diagnosing the disease is by
    paying too much attention to the rash and not the throat. In many
    cases no rash appears at all; the throat is the thing to watch. Six
    days after a child is exposed to scarlet fever there will be a rise in
    fever and a sore throat. And In most cases,a day or so later a fine
    scarlet rash will appear and the patient should be quarantined;
    which usually lasts four to six weeks. Complete isolation is
    required in order to control scarlet fever. The recovering of a
    patient is judged by the scaling of the rash,but the throat is the
    thing to watch.The most important thing about this disease is that
    it is not a flying machine. It must be spread through bodily contact;
    usually mouth to mouth. Scarlet disease cannot survive for very
    long outside of the body. In fact,for every hour that elapses from
    the time that the secretion leaves the mouth,ears or nose of the
    sick to the catcher gives sunlight,air and drying a chance to kill
    the contagion.

    The history of scarlet fever, or scarlatina. The first is the English
    version the second is the Latin name for the same disease. There
    is no other difference. Prior to the great depression of the thirties,
    there was a lot known about the treatment of scarlatina disease,
    but there was little known as to it's cause. There was a great deal
    of money spent and a lot of brain power employed but the cause
    of scarlet refused to be found. There was no bacillus found which
    is the cause of diphtheria and no filterable virus as in measles. But
    what they did note was that the infection entered the nose and
    throat,then circulated in the blood to reach the skin and kidneys
    as well as other structures of the body. After a certain time the
    disease would cease to be active,after which the badly poisoned
    cells would shed away. From their observations they concluded
    that the disease belonged in the group of contagions of the type
    caused by microorganisms.
    Earlier studies of the disease also showed that atmospheric
    conditions played a large role in the severity of the outbreaks.
    Though not sure as to the reason,they concluded that the
    outbreaks of scarlet fever was greater during winter than summer
    but enough lingered over to carry the seed from winter to winter.
    The study also showed that climates where the outside air was
    cold and the inside air hot, the scarlet fever rates were greater.
    The mothers in Kentucky,South Carolina,and Mississippi suffered
    very little compared to the mothers of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
    It was suggested that people of the gulf states had scarlet fever
    so mildly that it wasn't called scarlet fever.


A.M. Fitzgerald
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