Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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

Throat swab

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.

Mar. 13, 2014