Scarlet Fever, is a contagious inflammatory disease, attended with a bright-red efflorescence of the skin, which appears on the third or fourth day, with a slight swelling of the face : the redness gradually spreads, but vanishes after three or four days, when the scarf-skin generally peels off in branny scales. Though a sore throat in most cases occurs, it is by no means a necessary symptom.
The proximate cause of this malady, appears to be an unknown contagious matter propagated by the atmosphere ; though the body may be predisposed to receive the infection, from sudden changes of cold and heat, rainy weather, and indigestion.
Cure: - In this formidable disorder, which often terminates fatally in three or four days, emetics should be early and repeatedly administered ; as such evacuations, according to Dr. Withering, and our own experience, are the remedy suggested by Nature; after which diuretics, such as vinegar and honey, with a few grains of nitre, will be of essential benefit. Great care, however, is necessary to avoid whatever may induce a looseness of the bowels, which is seldom salutary in this complaint. A gargle consisting of equal parts of lime-water and vinegar, or barley-water and honey acidulated with vitriolic acid, will be very useful in reducing the inflammation an I swelling in the throat. The diet must be light and diluting, while the patient ought to abstain from all animal food ; but he may take frequent draughts of thin gruel, barley-water, and the like, with currant-jelly. His body should be kept moderately warm in bed ; and the room fumigated with vinegar and camphor, placed in a proper vessel over a burning lamp, in order to purify the air. When the fever and eruption cease, a dose or two of mild aperient medicines, may be given with safety and advantage.
.Should the legs be remarkably swollen, after the other symptoms have subsided, a decoction of the Seneka root with vinegar and honey (at the same time bathing the lower extremities, or the whole body, in warm Water) will afford the greatest relief. But, if the inflammation in the throat threaten suffocation, or be attended with violent fever, medical advice should be instantly procured ; as the progress of this epidemic is uncommonly rapid, and often mortal.