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There are many diseases and symptoms that can be found in children.  This article focuses on one of the most common ones: fevers.  Fevers from scarlet fever to night fever are common occurrences, particularly in children.  In general, a fever is simply when the body temperature rises to a higher than normal level of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.  It should be noted that a fever is in of itself not a disease or illness; it is rather a symptom of the body fighting an infection.  This infection may be a result of either a viral or a bacterial infection and the fever may help to cause the body’s immune system to spring into action against the disease.  There are other causes of fevers including side effects from some medicines, the effects of heat exhaustion, some cancers and other autoimmune diseases and disorders.


In general the way in which a fever is treatment has a lot to do with the cause of the fever in the first place.  For the most part, if you are experiencing a fever you should always attempt to prevent becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.  Although you may also wish to take some analgesics (or pain killers) such as acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (also known as Advil) to reduce the fever, it is important to always consult a physician before making medical decisions.  One example of the necessity to consult a physician is that some over the counter remedies for fever should not be taken by children, such as aspirin.


The remainder of this article focuses on two more common causes of fevers in children.  The first is Scarlet Fever, which is caused by an infection of the same bacteria that causes strep throat.  The second topic that this article focuses on is Cat Scratch Fever, also known as Cat Scratch disease or CSD that is a bacterial infection transmitted from cats to humans who have been either scratched or bitten by an infected cat or kitten.


Scarlet Fever


One form of fever that is particularly problematic for children is known as scarlet fever.  Also known by the name scarlatina, it gains its name from the red, similar in appearance to a strawberry appearance of the tongue that is accompanied by a high fewer.  Scarlet fever is, in most cases, caused by the same bacterial infection that causes strep throat.  As a result the symptoms of strep throat are in the majority of cases also present in those who have developed scarlet fever.  Scarlet fever is for the most part a childhood disease that it most often affects children who are above the age of four and below the age of sixteen.  In the past scarlet fever was more often left untreated, which can cause the disease to develop into an increasingly serious disease that can spread to the rest of the body including essential internal organs.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the appearance of the following symptoms may be enough to diagnose a child with scarlet fever: a red sunburn-like rash that is sandpaper like in texture, there appearance of red lines that are in the folds of skin around the groin, elbows, knees, armpits as well as the neck.  Other symptoms include a strawberry-like, bumpy appearance of the tongue that in the early stages of the disease is accompanied by a white coating.  In addition, there may be a fever of above one hundred and one degrees Fahrenheit, nausea potentially leading to vomiting, headache, difficulties swallowing, swollen glands in the next and a flush to the face with the presence of pale areas around the area of the mouth.

The treatment of scarlet fever involves the prescription of antibiotics.  These products include A cephalosporin such as Keflex or Ceclor, Clindamycin (Cleocin), Clarithromycin (Biaxin), Azithromycin (Zithromax), Amoxicillin (Amoxil or Trimox) or finally, Penicillin either through injection or taken in a pill.  It is extremely important that anyone who is taking antibiotics ensures that they are compliant with the schedule by which the medication in question is to be taken.  Non-compliance with the medication regime of the antibiotic prescribed may cause the disease to be incompletely cured, leading to a risk of future infections, which is an obviously undesirable outcome to the treatment.

Cat Scratch Fever


Also known as Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) it is caused by an infection of the bacterial disease that is also known as Bartonella henselae.  It derives its name from the fact that most people who contract Cat Scratch Disease do some from having been either scratched or even bitten by a cat, developing an infection from the encounter.  Symptoms of Cat Scratch Disease include swollen lymph nodes around the head and limps as well as fever, fatigue, poor appetite and headache.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are a number of ways that an individual can prevent the contraction of Cat Scratch Disease.  This includes avoiding any activity with cats that may lead to bites or scratches such as playing too roughly with cats and kittens.  Should you incur a bite or scratch, it is imperative that the areas should be washed as soon as possible with soap and water.  It is important to control any flea problems that may exist with one’s cat and to prevent cats from licking any wounds that you may have contracted.  Finally, should any of the above listed symptoms be experienced after receive a bite or scratch from a cat, it is extremely important that as soon as possible the individual in question seek medical treatment from a physician.


Finally, Cat Scratch Fever is caused by bacteria that are carried by approximately forty percent of cats at some point during the life of the animal.  In addition, it is not possible to tell which cats have contracted the bacteria as there are no visible symptoms in the cat itself.  For individuals who have HIV/AIDS or for what ever reason have compromised or weakened immune system there is a greater risk of contracting Cat Scratch Disease than would otherwise be the case.