During the physical exam, your doctor will:
- Look at the condition of your child's throat, tonsils and tongue
- Feel your child's neck to determine if lymph nodes are enlarged
- Assess the appearance and texture of the rash
If your doctor suspects strep is the cause of your child's illness, he or she will also swab the tonsils and back of your child's throat to collect material that may harbor the strep bacteria.
Tests for the strep bacteria are important because a number of conditions can cause the signs and symptoms of scarlet fever, and these illnesses may require different treatments. If there are no strep bacteria, then some other factor is causing the illness.
March 13, 2014
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- 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.