Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is a bacterial illness that sometimes develops in people with strep throat. It is most common in children 5 – 15 years of age. It is treated with antibiotics, if left untreated it can cause serious conditions affecting the heart and kidneys.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Red rash. The rash looks like sunburn and feels like sandpaper
  • Red lines. The folds of skin around the groin, armpits, elbows, knees, and neck become a deeper red than the surrounding rash
  • Flushed face
  • Strawberry tongue. Tongue generally looks red and bumpy, often covered with a white coating early in the illness
  • Fever usually 101º F or higher
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache


Follow up with your primary care provider for diagnosis and antibiotic treatment. Students may return to school once they have been taking antibiotics for a minimum of 24 hours and are fever free for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Contact school nurse Lea Hysom at to report a case of scarlet fever.

More information about scarlet fever is available on the CDC website.