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Scarlet fever rash affecting a patient's tongue. Scarlet fever is a highly contagious disease, mainly of childhood, caused by bacteria of the genus Streptococcus. It is transmitted by a patient or carrier (by coughing) or through contaminated milk. Symptoms occur 2-4 days after exposure & include fever, sickness, sore throat & a widespread scarlet rash affecting the torso, limbs and tongue. Treatment with antibiotics shortens the illness & prevents such complications as ear & kidney infections & swollen neck glands. An infection usually confers life-long immunity. The medical name for scarlet fever is scarlatina.
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