As a parent, it can be difficult to know when your child has an illness. From the common cold to scarlet fever and chickenpox, all of these illnesses have different symptoms and treatments. Knowing the difference between each can help you get your child the treatment he needs as soon as possible. In this article, we will look at two particularly contagious diseases: scarlet fever and chickenpox. We will analyze their similarities, differences, diagnostic methods, treatments and preventive measures so that you have all the information you need in case one of them strikes your family!

Scarlet fever and chickenpox: what are the differences and similarities?

Scarlet fever and chickenpox are both contagious diseases caused by viruses. Both conditions cause a rash of small, itchy red bumps, but the distribution of the rash is different in each case.

Scarlet fever is caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes and is spread through contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person. The first symptom is usually a sore throat accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms are swollen lymph nodes in the neck and a red tongue with white patches. A red, raised, sandpaper-like rash may appear on the chest and stomach several days after these first signs.

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and is spread by direct contact with an infected person or by airborne nasal or oral secretions. The first signs are a slight fever, fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite and headache. A few days later, a red, large, itchy rash appears on the skin, consisting of small, fluid-filled blisters that eventually burst and scab over. The rash usually starts on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, including the scalp, arms, and legs.

The incubation period for scarlet fever is usually one to three days after exposure to the bacteria, while that for chickenpox is 10 to 21 days.

Contagion rate: Children under 10 account for 90% of chickenpox cases.

In France, approximately 700,000 cases of chickenpox are reported each year. This disease is particularly prevalent in children under 10, since 90% of cases affect this age group. It is estimated that more than 90% of the population is immune to the disease by the age of 10, through natural exposure or vaccine injections. However, those who did not receive a vaccine in their youth are much more likely to become infected as adults and experience a more severe case than expected.

This increased risk can be attributed to a weakened immune system, such as that caused by chemotherapy treatments or other illnesses that can impair immunity. That’s why it’s important for adults who weren’t vaccinated as children to take preventative measures and protect themselves from infection whenever possible. In addition, immunocompromised people should be particularly aware of the risks associated with a chickenpox infection and seek medical attention in the event of symptoms.

Scarlet fever and chicken pox: what treatments are considered?

Treatment for scarlet fever usually includes antibiotics like amoxicillin or penicillin. It is important to follow the full course of antibiotic treatment, even if the symptoms disappear, to ensure that the infection has been cleared up completely. To relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of scarlet fever, it is essential to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Also, over-the-counter medications like throat lozenges or cough syrups can help relieve sore throat caused by scarlet fever.

As for the treatment of chickenpox, it is more of a supportive treatment, which consists of getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Antihistamine medications can be taken to relieve itchy skin associated with chickenpox. Additionally, applying calamine lotion to the affected areas can also calm them down. A cool bath with baking soda or oatmeal may also be advised for rashes. VZV vaccination is available and highly recommended to prevent chickenpox in people who have not had it. However, vaccination cannot treat an existing chickenpox infection.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.