What other viral and bacterial illnesses should be considered when diagnosing scarlet fever?

Updated: Jun 21, 2019
  • Author: Bahman Sotoodian, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Other viral exanthemata, such as those caused by Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis), enterovirus, HIV infection, and Streptobacillus moniliformis infection (rat bite fever), may also have to be considered.

Other bacteria-associated syndromes with cutaneous eruptions (eg, toxic shock syndrome, secondary syphilis) may appear similar to scarlet fever, but the presence of vasomotor instability and ischemic necrosis of digits in the former and palmoplantar involvement with positive serology in the latter should suffice to differentiate them from scarlet fever.

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