Image of the Week – Strawberry Tongue

Strawberry tongue characteristic in scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is a disease which can occur as a result of a group A streptococcus (group A strep) infection, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. The signs and symptoms include a sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic rash. The rash is red and feels like sandpaper and the tongue may be red and bumpy. It most commonly affects children between five and 15 years of age. Scarlet fever affects a small number of people who have strep throat or streptococcal skin infections. The bacteria are usually spread by people coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has the bacteria on it and then touches their mouth or nose. The characteristic rash is due to the erythrogenic toxin, a substance produced by some types of the bacterium. The diagnosis is typically confirmed by culturing the throat. Strawberry tongue is characteristic of scarlet fever. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_fever for more information.