Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scarlett Fever in the 21st Century



My, how times have changed. Not that I was alive when the diagnosis of Scarlett Fever could mean a death sentence, but one has to be thankful for the passage of time when it comes to the advancement of medicine.

Rhett woke up Saturday morning just covered in a rash. He wasn't scratching it, and for some reason, perhaps it was Mother's Instinct, it seemed to be screaming at me, "I'm a red flag!" So I called the doc. He had us come in immediately. (Pretty impressive for a Sat. morning!) He took one look at Rhett and said in a concerned voice, "This looks like Scarlett Fever," and began to examine him. As you can imagine, that was the last thing I thought I was going to hear that day! I gotta tell ya, the words 'Scarlett Fever' shocked me a bit. Sure enough, a blood test confirmed the doc's suspicions, and Rhett was stamped with a Scarlett Fever diagnosis. We were sent home with an antibiotic and were told to keep Rhett away from the public for two days which is when he would no longer be considered contagious.

For all you moms out there = Yes, Scarlett Fever usually develops after a bout with Strep Throat that was not treated properly/entirely. However, as I learned today, it can pop up on its own. Rhett did NOT have Strep prior to Scarlett Fever. As a matter of fact, to quote the doc, his throat was "squeaky clean". He did not have a cough. He did not have a fever. He did not have drainage. His ears looked good. The doc was sure to listen to his heart since Scarlett Fever can move to that organ, but Rhett's heart was murmur-free. That's right, folks, the only tangible symptom Rhett had was the rash. He did act like he felt yucky at times, but nothing too severe as you can see here, the day of his diagnosis.

Five days later he is still covered with the scarlet colored rash. Most of him is looking a tad bit better except for his face. It's still quite bumpy and as red as - well.................. scarlet. (please ignore his usual messy mouth)

He does seem to be more sleepy than usual. Surely that has something to do with the illness. I found him like this (above) in the rocking chair at 5 p.m!!! Other than that, we have no complaints. And better yet, everyone else in the house has remained well. Whew!

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