Scarlet fever causes school to close doors - WNEM TV 5

Scarlet fever causes school to close doors

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A school temporarily closed its doors after a couple of students were diagnosed with Scarlet fever.

Faithway School, 1225 Center Rd in Burton shut its doors Feb. 9-10 after two students were diagnosed with the disease.

Scarlet fever is an infection that can develop in people who have strep throat.

It mainly impacts children between the ages of 5 and 15, and while it used to be common, is relatively rare today. The infection is most commonly associated with the early 1900s.

Symptoms include:

  • A very red, sore throat
  • A fever (101° F or above)
  • A red rash with a sandpaper feel
  • Bright red skin in underarm, elbow, and groin creases
  • A whitish coating on the tongue
  • A "strawberry" (red and bumpy) tongue
  • Headache or body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
  • Swollen glands

The bacteria lives in an infected person's nose and throat and can be spread through contact, coughing or sneezing or sharing the same plate or glass.

"If a child has a sore throat or strep throat or even rash of scarlet fever, they should remain home," said Dr. Gary Johnson, health director of the Genesee County Health Department.

Johnson said individual schools have discretion whether to close school or leave it open in cases like this.

Doctors said the infected patients should be isolated from school and childcare for at least 24 hours after beginning treatment.

"Stay out of school and start antibiotic treatment cause you could have fever and you want to wait until your fever is down before you go back to school and you've had at least a day of antibiotic treatment," Johnson said.

There is no vaccination for scarlet fever. The best way to prevent it is to wash your hands frequently and not share personal items.

If you get Scarlet fever, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics. 

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