When you think Scarlet Fever, what do you think of? Personally, I think of Little Women, Beth, and eventual death. Apparently, it's not like that anymore. Who knew?
Scarlet fever is caused by a bacteria, which is why there's no vaccine, and also why it's totally curable and no big deal, now that we have penicillin. It's caused from the strep bacteria, actually. It has a short cycle, with only 2-4 days between exposure and death. Er, before symptoms present. Geez, it's hard to forget about Beth!
How do I know this? Alison's (she's my babysitter) youngest might have scarlet fever. So of course, I looked up all the symptoms and watch my children vigilantly for signs of malaise (they feel bad) and rashes on their necks. None so far. I also looked up scarlet fever on the Internet to find that yes, it can cause all sorts of bad results, if you are retarded and don't take your sick kid with a high fever and bright red rash to the doctor. Phew! I'd do that. At the very least, I'd call Mom, who would say "Don't be retarded! Take that child to the doctor!" That's what she said (more or less) when Sasha had RSV.
It's not that I don't want to relive ANY Little Women (grand tour of Europe, balls, general 19th century life all sounds cool for awhile) but Beth's death? Yeah, I still cry when I read that. Who doesn't?