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Scarlet Fever and Pregnancy

Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, scarlet fever and pregnancy often resulted to death, either for the mother, the unborn child, or both.  Although scarlet fever outbreaks are rare today, it has not yet been totally eradicated.  Expectant mothers, therefore, must take precautions in order to avoid it.  If they are exposed to the illness, they must know how it can be identified, what to do to treat it, and how to avoid side effects of scarlet fever on their babies.

Following are some useful information about scarlet fever and pregnancy that every mother needs to know:

Scarlet fever defined – The illness is also known as Scarlatina.  It is caused by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.  Scarlet fever is more common to children from age 5 to mid-teens rather than adults.  Today, cases of complications from the illness are rare.
Scarlet fever is a highly contagious disease and can be passed on from one person to another through close contact.  A blood test can confirm if a person with scarlet fever symptoms is afflicted with the disease or not.

How to identify scarlet fever – A lot of scarlet fever symptoms resemble those of strep throats, namely swollen lymph glands, difficulty in swallowing food, sore throat, and high fever.  In some cases, patients may also suffer from headaches and nausea.
A visible manifestation of scarlet fever is a bright-red appearance on the tongue usually with a white coating at the back of the tongue, throat, and uvula.  The cheeks may also be flushed and red, with a white manifestation commonly called white moustache appearing around the mouth.  Rough red rashes may also appear on the upper body.  Women showing symptoms of scarlet fever and pregnancy signs are advised to immediately be diagnosed so proper treatment can be applied.

Misconceptions about the disease – In the olden days, scarlet fever was considered one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world.  Scarlet fever and pregnancy was then seen as a kiss of death, and children who escape death suffer deformities at birth and are debilitated for life.  A lot of people still have the same mindset.  The truth is, the disease is no longer considered a threat today and in the rare instances that it appears, it can easily be treated because of the advances in modern medicine.
scarlet fever prevention and treatment – To avoid contamination, pregnant women must avoid getting in contact with people diagnosed to have scarlet fever.  But even if the mother contracts the disease, there is no evidence that it can be directly passed on to her unborn child.  Antibiotics are the primary treatments used for scarlet fever and expectant mothers who are exposed to the disease must immediately see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment, if necessary.
Warning – A high temperature that accompanies scarlet fever and pregnancy may be the biggest threat posed by the disease.  A high temperature or fever is linked to some child defects and is not generally good for the unborn baby.  If neglected and left untreated, scarlet fever can also lead to complications like rheumatic fever and blood infection.

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