Scarlet Fever in Adults

Scarlet fever causes a high temperature with sore throat and a rash. Children in between the ages of 2 to 10 are at a greater risk of catching scarlet fever. Nevertheless, it can affect anybody from any age. Though it was considered a severe disease with lethal effects, it has actually ended up being less serious in the last decade or two. It causes lots of complications if not dealt with in a prompt way. Keep reading to find out more about causes and treatment alternatives for scarlet fever in adults.

What Causes Scarlet Fever in Adults?

A bacterium called streptococcus pyogenes is accountable for causing scarlet fever. Streptococcus pyogenes is the very same bacterium that causes strep throat. Grownups experience symptoms of scarlet fever when the bacteria launch toxins.

In addition, some specific strains of streptococcus pyogenes are connected to skin infections, such as impetigo. These stress can likewise cause scarlet fever, though it is quite unusual nowadays.

How Does Scarlet Fever Spread?

You may become infected by breathing in the bacteria through beads of water released when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. The bacteria may likewise arrive at tough surfaces such as drinking glasses, doorknobs and infect people who are exposed to these areas. You may end up being infected if you touch the skin of someone suffering from a streptococcal skin infection. Sharing clothes, towels, or bedding with an infected person may likewise add to contracting the infection.

scarlet fever

Picture of scarlet fever in adults

Remarkably, some people develop scarlet fever however they do not have any symptoms due to the fact that they are delicate to the contaminants launched by streptococcal bacteria. These individuals are likewise contagious and can transfer infection to others.

What Are the Symptoms of Scarlet Fever in Adults?

Scarlet fever in adults normally produces the same symptoms you experience when you have strep infection. Red tongue, Pastia’s lines, flushed face, and a rash are the most common symptoms. The only difference is that you will develop a rash when you have scarlet fever. The most common symptoms of scarlet fever include the following:

  • Fever of 101°F or greater
  • Sore throat with problem swallowing
  • Yellow or white coating or spots on the tonsils and throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

You are most likely to experience some other symptoms prior to you establish the rash. This list consists of stomachache, headache, listlessness, vomiting, and basic body aches. You typically do not experience cold symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, or cough. It spends some time (24 hours or longer after the infection) for the rash to establish, which will seem like great sandpaper. It starts on the abdominal area and chest, however then spreads over the rest of the body in a few days. The redness is more noticeable in skin folds, such as in the armpits, groin, and elbow folds.

Treatments for Scarlet Fever

Many moderate cases fix within a week with no medical intervention. Nevertheless, you should talk to your doctor due to the fact that getting treatment will assist accelerate recovery and prevent further complications. You will start to feel better after 4-5 days of treatment.

Your doctor will recommend a 10-day course of antibiotics. You may need to take oral penicillin, however your doctor will encourage against it if you are allergic to penicillin. You can take erythromycin in this case. You may take amoxicillin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, clindamycin, or a cephalosporin such as cephalexin. Scarlet fever in adults stays contagious even when there are no symptoms, so it is important to finish the complete course of antibiotics.

Keep in mind: Adults with scarlet fever need to remain off work for at least 1 day after starting treatment.

Prevent Spreading Scarlet Fever in Adults

You need to follow the very same prevention strategies that are advised for all infection conditions. For instance:

  • Limitation your social interaction while you are infected.
  • Use tissues or handkerchiefs when sneezing and clean them right away with warm water and soap.
  • Wash your hands completely as regularly as possible.
  • Never ever share your drinking glasses and other utensils with others.


Scarlet fever in adults can be contagious even the common symptoms like high fever, severe cough and strep throat is not present. Try the treatment and prevention choices pointed out here.


Updated: July 8, 2017 — 8:29 pm

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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