Antibiotic resistance: It's more than just staph

Here's something that really is killing kids: A new strain of scarlet fever that's about twice as resistant to antibiotics as previous antibiotic-resistant strains. This is heart-wrenching. My thoughts are with the families in Hong Kong suffering through this outbreak.


  1. Having been diagnosed with scarlet fever in the 6th grade I can say it really sucks…I had hives everywhere even between my toes. It was originally misdiagnosed as an allergic reaction to sulfa meds…then 4 days later I saw an older doctor who recognized the symptoms as something far more serious.

    In my case they thought it was advanced strep throat that led to the infection. Like any fever the dreams were crazy…not a fun couple weeks in my life.

    1. When I was in eighth grade, the high school was shut down for two weeks due to scarlet fever. It’s a fast mover. I remember watching one of the students in the chorus at the school concert go from healthy to bright red and barely standing over the course of two hours. A couple of days later, a quarter of the adolescents in town had it.

      1. Yeah…I spent 2 weeks home if I remember right. As an interesting side note…to the best of my knowledge I have not had strep throat in the 20 or so years since I had scarlet fever…I am probably just a carrier now.

        1. I had it a little younger than you. I think I was 3rd or 4th grade. I have vague memories of that time. I remember my mom reading to me, weird dreams and Fresca!! (we *always* got Fresca when we had nasty fevers). I also remember an ice bath at one point.

          I have had strep a couple of times since, but not since I got out of my teens (I’m in my 40s now).

  2. Greeno2 would attack and kill this strain. I don’t understand why more people aren’t using it!

  3. What does “twice as resistant to antibiotics” mean?

    Twice the dose of antibiotics need to recover, twice as many cases of older strain can be cured with antibiotics, twice as long for a recovery once antibiotics are administered?

  4. Technically, scarlet fever isn’t an organism and therefore doesn’t come in strains. Streptococcus pyogenes, OTOH, comes in strains.

    In fairness, that turn of phrase is cribbed from the article.

    1. I suspect people decided calling variant diseases caused by new strains of bacteria “new strains of disease” was an entirely natural way to apply the language. Why not?

  5. Scarlet fever is no joke. My mother had it as a toddler. It left her with damaged hearing in one ear and an enlarged heart. The heart problem killed her at 42.

    I’d rather see 1,000 landfills overflowing than the ecological nightmare these guys are unleashing with their ridiculous habit of throwing antibiotics at everything they can’t diagnose in 30 seconds flat!

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