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Should I take a child who has scarlet fever to see a doctor?

Answered by Dr Ellie Cannon
8th September 2015
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Yes. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and correct treatment if you suspect that your child has scarlet fever. A diagnosis will usually be made through physical examination of the characteristic rash and other symptoms associated with the disease. To confirm the disease, your family doctor will need to take a sample of saliva with a swab from the back of your child’s throat. This test is important as scarlet fever can be misinterpreted as other diseases with similar symptoms, such as measles and rubella.

Scarlet fever is a ‘notifiable disease’ in the UK, meaning doctors are required by law to report all cases to government authorities so that the number of cases each year can be accurately monitored.

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