RHEUMATIC FEVER

Rheumatic fever is a complication developed following an untreated throat infection (by a type of bacteria called group A streptococcus).

Common symptoms of rheumatic fever are the following:

  • Arthritis (inflammation of the joints)
  • Carditis (heart inflammation)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Persistent cough
    • Fatigue
    • Chest pain
  • Sydenham’s chorea – involuntary and uncontrollable jerking of limbs
  • Skin rash
  • Other symptoms: subcutaneous skin nodules, high fever, abdominal pain, epistaxis (nose bleed)

Diagnosis

Rheumatic fever is diagnosed by the identification of major and minor symptoms according to the Jones Criteria.

Physician make request for the following tests to help in the diagnosis of rheumatic fever:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Blood tests (C-Reactive Protein, Antistreptolysin O, ESR)

 

Recommended Management

Treatment plan for rheumatic fever includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) for relief of symptoms
  • Antibiotics for removal of streptococcus bacteria
  • Bed rest

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