DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scarlet fever rash on the abdomen of a 6-year-old boy. Scarlet fever is a highly contagious disease, mainly affecting children, that is caused by bacteria of the genus Streptococcus. It is spread in droplets of fluid coughed, sneezed or breathed into the air. Symptoms occur 2-4 days after exposure and include fever, sore throat and a widespread red rash affecting the torso, limbs and tongue. The rash is caused by a toxin released by the bacteria. Treatment is with antibiotic drugs such as penicillin, which usually leads to a rapid recovery. Infection gives life-long immunity.
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