This is an example of a scarlet fever rash. Though we only had it confimed Saturday. The lass does not have textbook illness progression (does anyone?), so I thought I’d not the progression here in case you, dear internets, find this by googling scarlet fever.
Wednesday: Daycare call me and tell me I need to pick the lass up as she’s running a fever. She get progressively warmer throughout the morning and is at 39,6 degrees celcius by mid-afternoon, I hold off on the painkillers, though, as she doesn’t seem to be particularly uncomfortable, just tired and cuddly. By bedtime the fever is down to around 38, so I put her to bed and she sleeps soundly. I check later – just before going to bed myself – and her temperature seems normal.
Thursday: Husband’s day off, so he keeps her at home. We never actually measure her temperature, as she seems fine and not particularly warm.
Friday: When the husband changes her in the morning, she has a rash, so they stay at home. She’s not showing any other symptoms of being ill, though, until the evening when she absolutely refuses to go to bed, seemingly complaining of a sore throat, and her temperature is up to just over 38 again. I put her in our bed and stay beside her until she falls asleep. I call the hospital helpline and describe the symptoms. The lady on the other end says it may well be just the usual fever-followed-by-rash children’s desease, but that it might just be scarlet fever, and since that is easily determined with a test and treatable, she asks us to bring the lass in the next morning.
Saturday: So we head to the emergency room, feeling somewhat sheepish, as the lass now seems perfectly healthy, apart from a rather faint rash. We’re supposed to leave her at her grandmother’s tomorrow and leave for a week in The Gambia, had we not been going away I think we would have waited to see our GP on Monday instead. The lady at the desk seems to think we are waisting their time. The doctor is more understanding, but he performs the test more as a “just in case”, he does not seem to think it will confirm anything. Almost to my relief (hey, I’m not just a hysterical mother hen) the test turns up a positive result. It is scarlet fever.
Now the rash, the possible sore throat and the fever are pretty textbook, except the rash was covering her shoulders, chest and back and her groin, hardly touching her face. The textbook also says the tongue may have a whitish coating at the start of the desease, changing to a bright red with a “strawberry” appearance later. Neither of these were apparent enough to be remarked.
Wikipedia also says: “For whatever reason, toddlers rarely contract scarlet fever.” Clearly, “rarely” does not equate to “never”.