Scarlet Fever

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Yes, I have scarlet fever – again.

This is at least the 3rd time that I have contracted a disease that many people believe was eradicated a century ago. Even the doctor couldn’t hold back his excitement: “This is the first case of scarlet fever that I have seen in my 35 years practicing!”

And, when I posted the diagnosis online, the responses were hilarious:

  • @emarg0ed:
    I discovered a time machine, and all I brought back was this lousy scarlet fever.
  • @girl_alex:
    Pick that up on the Oregon Trail? ;) Feel better!
  • @sleary:
  • Mickey Nagmay:
    this is a joke right?

What is scarlet fever?

Scarlet fever is a disease caused by a toxin released by the Streptococcus bacteria. Before the discovery of antibiotics, it was a major cause of death – especially in children. People would contract strep and since there was no treatment, the toxin would eventually build up and cause the symptoms of scarlet fever.

Why do I keep getting it?

As it turns out, I have an acute allergy to this particular toxin. This means that even a small strep infection will cause me to break out in scarlet hives. Lucky me.

Actually, in a sense, it is lucky. The allergy makes me the proverbial canary in the coal mine. I show symptoms at the first signs of strep – which thanks to penicillin – is now easily treatable.


Here is a very unflattering picture of the rash:


5 Responses to “Scarlet Fever”

  1. Aunt Kiki Says:

    OMG, Gabe! Do you know the toxin that causes this? Your grandmother had it when she was little and we had to throw everything out that she touched! Get better soon!! LOVE

  2. nagmay Says:

    According to wikipedia:
    Scarlet fever is a disease caused by erythrogenic toxin (a bacterial exotoxin) released by Streptococcus pyogenes.

  3. Brenda Says:

    I also am on my 3rd time of having scarlet fever a lot of websites say thatonce you have it you wont get it again. I was begining to think I was a freak or something. Its nice to know thats not true. Good luck stay healthy

  4. Says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Stephanie Says:

    No problems viewing the picture.

Leave a Reply

You know you want to...