Scarlet fever: the nature, development and spread of infection
Scarlet fever pathogens
The causative agent of this dangerous infectious disease is streptococcus, which has a complex antigenic structure. According to his serological group, he belongs to A, which plays the main role. In total, group A includes about 60 types of bacteria. It is believed that they can all provoke scarlet fever.
The main danger is that group A streptococci produce toxins consisting of two fractions. One of these fractions also causes an allergic reaction. Bacteria of this group are characterized by increased survivability, they are relatively resistant to drying and exposure to low temperatures. But temperatures above +56 degrees cause their massive death, as well as ordinary disinfectants.
The incubation period of the disease is usually 5-7 days. The first clinical manifestations look like a normal sore throat, which may be accompanied by rhinitis,sinusitis and purulent otitis media, which increases the duration of the period when the patient is especially dangerous to others. In some cases, people who are in close contact with the patient without becoming infected themselves become the distributors of the infection.
As a rule, scarlet fever begins suddenly, with a sharp increase in temperature. The disease is accompanied by general weakness and indisposition, palpitations and headache. Almost immediately there is also a sore throat, making it difficult to swallow. In addition to the clinical picture, which is typical for banal tonsillitis, vomiting and diarrhea may occur, as a result of the action of toxins.
On the first or second day of the disease, a rash appears on the body, and when the temperature rises, the patient may begin to rave. At 4-5 days characteristic papillae appear on the tongue, the color of the mucous membrane becomes bright crimson. The disease subsides from 3-6 days: the temperature gradually returns to normal, the rash fades and disappears, the mouth clears, and the patient's general condition improves, appetite appears. Usually, on the 8-10th day, he is already recovering, and only the peeling of the skin, which begins on the 6th-8th day after the onset of the disease, reminds of the illness.
Scarlet fever spread
Sources of infection are already infected people, especially in the first 10 days after the onset of the disease, when, during coughing and sneezing, they vigorously release bacteria into the surrounding area. Most often, the infection occurs within the room where the patient is. The danger can be those things that he uses. Theoretically, there is the possibility of spreading the infection through toys, dishes and underwear, because bacteria can exist in a dry environment.
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