The illness leaves children with a fever, sore throat, bright red tongue and sandpapery rash. Penicillin still cures it, but doctors worry options will be limited if the germ eventually outsmarts that antibiotic before a vaccine is developed.
“That’s the cause of lots of nightmares,” said Dr. Edward Kaplan. He heads a World Health Organization research center at the University of Minnesota that focuses on the strep germ, which causes scarlet fever. “The fact that we still have penicillin is something we all get down on our knees and say prayers about each night.”
Scarlet fever was once a highly feared scourge in Europe and the United States. Clothes, bedding and toys were often burned and children were sometimes isolated after infection, as portrayed in the popular 1920s children’s book, “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Experts say they fear rising drug resistance could one day take the world back to a time when there were no easy treatments.
“This will really turn us back to 1940s in terms of treatment of infectious disease if this trend continues,” Yuen said.
Comment by Adamantine:
This may not yet be a problem but disease does play a part in end time scenarios and this is interesting in that we have all probably had strep throat.