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Pregnancy and scarlet fever?

Posted by Be Well

What should I do if I get scarlet fever during my pregnancy?
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Scarlet fever is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria known as hemolytic streptococci. Although scarlet fever used to be a very serious disease, most cases today are quite mild. The incubation period (time between catching the disease and showing symptoms) is usually 2-4 days.

The main symptom of scarlet fever is a fine rash on the body that feels like sandpaper. The cheeks become flushed and the area around the mouth stays quite pale. Other symptoms include:

  • sore throat,
  • high temperature,
  • headache, and
  • a white coating on the tongue, which peels away leaving the tongue looking red and swollen ('strawberry tongue').

Scarlet fever is usually treated with a short course of antibiotics to avoid rare complications such as pneumonia. Children with scarlet fever should be kept off school for five days after the start of treatment and kept away from other children.

There is no evidence to suggest that catching scarlet fever when you are pregnant will put your baby at risk. As always, see your doctor if you need further advice or suspect your child may have scarlet fever.

Scarlet fever is not common in adults, but to avoid catching scarlet fever while you are pregnant, and so avoid getting the symptoms like high temperature and sore throat, try to keep away from any children that you know have scarlet fever.

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