Rheumatic Fever Overview
What is rheumatic fever?
A person with rheumatic fever has inflammation of the heart and joints, caused by an infection with Streptococcus bacteria. Rheumatic fever may occur about 2-3 days after an episode of strep throat. For some reason, after the Streptococcal infection, the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissue. Inflammation occurs in multiple areas of the body, including the joints, heart, skin, and central nervous system. Rheumatic fever is rare in the US.
What are the symptoms of rheumatic fever?
Symptoms of rheumatic fever include a fever, joint pains, joint swelling, rash, muscle spasms, chest pain, and skin lumps under the skin over the elbows, wrists, or knees. The rash consists of large, red or pink spots over the trunk and limbs.
How does the doctor treat rheumatic fever?
Treatment for rheumatic fever includes antibiotics, aspirin, and oral corticosteroid medications. Treatment may also require valve replacement, for those who have damaged heart valves from rheumatic fever.
Continue to Rheumatic Fever Incidence
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