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Rheumatic Fever

Rheumatic Fever

It is an inflammatory disease that can result after untreated strep throat or scarlet fever. This infection is caused by an infection of streptcoccus bacteria. Most commonly affected age group of children are between 5 and 15 years old but it can occur between younger children and adults.

Symptoms

Rheumatic fever presents as following:Rheumatic Fever Symptoms Causes Treatment

  • High grade fever
  • Joints become tender and painful
  • Swollen, hot and red joints
  • Painless and small bumps beneath the skin
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Murmurs
  • Chorea i-e uncontrolled jerky body movements
  • Outburst of unusual behaviour accompanied by chorea
Causes

This condition is usually preceded by throat infection from group A streptococcus. This bacteria causes strep throat, or less commonly known as scarlet fever. The exact mechanism by which this organism causes rheumatic fever is unknown but it usually trick the immune system of the body. During the infection antibiodies start to react against the body’s self proteins located on large joints. This immune reaction ultimately causes inflammation of the joints.

Complications

Following complications can occur as a result of inflammation:

Diagnosis

Diagnosis depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Along with that other tests include are:

  • Blood tests
  • Throat swab test
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
Treatment

Treatment options include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anticovulsant medication
  • Clinical trials
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