Symptoms usually start 1–3 days after contact with the bacteria.
- The illness usually begins with fever and a sore throat. There may also be vomiting and tummy pain.
- A rash usually starts 1–2 days after the illness begins. It may first appear on your neck, underarms and groin, then spread over your body. It usually starts as small, flat, red blotches that gradually become small bumps with a rough surface. A child often gets a pink or red face, with a pale area around their mouth.
- The tongue may get a white coating with red spots, often called 'strawberry tongue'. Once this coating comes off the tongue is bright red.
- The scarlet fever rash usually fades in 7 days, and there is usually some skin peeling as the rash fades.