Is Scarlet Fever Contagious?

Q:
Is scarlet fever contagious?

A:
Scarlet fever may be contagious if a person becomes infected with a group A streptococcal bacterial strain that produces the scarlet fever toxin. However, not all people who get group A streptococcal infections develop scarlet fever; only a small percentage of these patients go on to develop scarlet fever.

Streptococci can be spread to other people by:

  • Breathing in infected droplets that have been coughed or sneezed out by others.
  • Direct physical contact with an infected person.
  • Sharing food or drink with an infected person.

The incubation period is short and you are likely to become ill within 1 – 3 days of becoming infected.

An individual should see a medical caregiver if they have had a recent infection of strep throat and then develop the symptoms of scarlet fever. It’s important to have a physician evaluate the patient to be sure that appropriate diagnosis and treatment take place quickly.

Keyword: scarlet fever contagious

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.