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Scarlet Fever (cont.)

Scarlet Fever Prognosis

Generally speaking, the prognosis for individuals diagnosed with scarlet fever is excellent when properly treated. There are typically no long-term sequelae in uncomplicated cases of scarlet fever. Individuals will generally begin to improve after a few days. Historically, scarlet fever resulted in mortality rates of 15%-20%, however, with the advent of antibiotics, mortality rates are now less than 1%.

Rarely, several serious complications can occur as a result of scarlet fever and streptococcal infection. Potential complication may include the following:

  • Otitis media
  • Cervical adenitis
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Sinusitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Meningitis
  • Septicemia
  • Hepatitis
  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (damage to the kidneys)

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics

Author: Steve Doerr, MD
Editor: Jerry Balentine, DO, FACEP


American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Group A streptococcal infections. In LK Pickering et al., eds., Red Book: 2009 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 28th ed., pp. 616–628. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.


Balentine, Jerry, and Daniel P. Lombardi. "Scarlet Fever." Mar. 19, 2010. <>.

Dyne, Pamela L., and Peter Bloomfield. "Pediatrics, Scarlet Fever." July 9, 2010. <>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Scarlet Fever." Apr. 13, 2008. <

Zabawski, Edward J. "Scarlet Fever." Apr. 28, 2009. <>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2014
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