Is Scarlet Fever the Surprise Illness Of 2023 in Texas?
Every year, there seems to be an illness that just wants to run around a city with reckless abandon. It's not always the same illness in every city, but sometimes there are commonalities.
I'm not talking about the flu or a cold running around, that happens every year. I'm talking about those illnesses or viruses that we haven't heard from or seen in a while that just pop up out of nowhere and almost create a bit of panic.
Well, I might have our answer here in Amarillo for 2023.
On Sunday, my son was playing in his baseball game and comes to me at the end of the 2nd inning, lifts up his sleeve, and says, "Dad look, this itches like crazy". He's got some small bumps on his arms. I immediately think either a heat rash (it was warm out there) or an allergic reaction to something.
I go to grab him some Benadryl and have him take it. He gets through the rest of the game and says he's feeling a bit better.
Fast forward to getting home. The bumps don't go away, in fact, they start getting a little more pronounced and slightly bigger. He's also starting to show some hives breaking out. He's also starting to complain of a bit of a sore throat when he swallows. We reach out to a family member who is a nurse with some pictures.
She throws a few options out there as to what it could be but says to just watch it overnight and then go from there. He wakes up in the morning, with no change. Ok, the Benadryl is working...or is it? He takes the day off of school but by 1:30 pm, he and I are sitting in the ER over at BSA because it's now spreading.
Allow me to introduce you to scarlet fever. If you don't know much about it, like me, it's a bacterial infection that is caused by the same virus as strep throat and typically is accompanied by it.
Now I know you're saying just because my kid has it doesn't mean it's running rampant. I wouldn't have thought that either until we called the school nurse to check if we could send him to school with an itch cream to be applied when he needed it throughout the day.
That was when the school nurse explained this is the THIRD case of scarlet fever she's personally heard of in just the last few days. So is this going to be the breakout illness of 2023? We're about to find out.
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