Scarlet fever is caused by the same type of bacteria that cause strep throat. In scarlet fever, the bacteria release a toxin that produces the rash and red tongue.
The infection spreads from person to person via droplets expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The incubation period — the time between exposure and illness — is usually two to four days.
Mar. 13, 2014
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- Scarlet fever: A group A streptococcal infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/ScarletFever/. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- Gibofsky A, et al. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of acute rheumatic fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- Wessels MR. Streptococcal pharyngitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:648.
- Van Driel ML, et al. Different antibiotic treatments for group A streptococcal pharyngitis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004406.pub3/abstract. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- Get smart: Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.