Scarlet fever, a disease that struck fear into the heart of parents when cases surged in the days of yore, appears to be making an unexpected and puzzling comeback in parts of the world.

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection caused by a Group A Streptococcus. It’s characterized by a sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, “strawberry tongue”, and a rash.

The aggressive strain has been affecting children since 2015.

Children develop strep throat, and the same bacteria causes Scarlet Fever. Streptococcus releases a toxin and triggers the development of the condition. It’s accompanied with rashes on the neck, back, chest and face. The rashes resemble a sunburn, and the skin begins to peel after six days. The area around the mouth isn’t affected.

Symptoms you should be aware of:

  • Flushed face
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Sore throat
  • High fever (101°F)
  • Red rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Itchy skin

Scarlet Fever is contagious, and infected kids need to be isolated, and kept away from other family members and friends. Put toothbrushes away, and pretty much anything that may contain the virus.

Kids are given ten-day treatment of antibiotics. They should not go to school for at least one day after their symptoms disappear. Scarlet Fever may cause complications if not treated on time, such as heart, kidney and other organ damage.