Rheumatic Fever Causes & Symptoms | Rheumatic Fever Treatment

Causes Of Rheumatic Fever

Rheumatic fever may associate with an infection of streptococcus bacteria. Brain, heart, skin and joints are affected by the Rheumatic fever. It is also affected other parts of the body such as nervous system. It is responsible for damaged heart valves. It is mainly affects the babies between ages 6 and 15. Symptoms and signs of the disease appear with in few weeks after infected with streptococcal bacteria.

Rheumatic carditis may affect by the disease in almost cases. There is no any cure for the disease, but it can prevent by proper treatment of strep throat infection.

Causes

There is no main cause of rheumatic fever. It is associated when body fights against strep throat infection. People who have abnormal immune system are at high risk of getting this disease.

Signs and symptoms of Rheumatic fever

  • Redness, joint swelling
  • Inflammation of the heart
  • High fever
  • Lumps under the skin
  • nosebleed
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rash
  • vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Muscular weakness
  • Skin nodules
  • Excessive fatigue

Diagnosis

Physical examination of skin, heart sounds and joints will be performed by the health care providers to diagnose the disease. In some cases, blood samples may be taken to determine the symptoms of Rheumatic fever.

Doctor will ask some questions to patient about symptoms of the disease. Sometimes doctor may use Chest X-ray or an electrocardiogram to suspect heart inflammation.

Laboratory test is not used by the doctor to confirm the rheumatic fever. Presence of major and minor criteria may help to diagnose the disease.

The following are including in physical examination:

  • Checking of skin for lumps or rashes
  • Listening to heart beat for murmurs or abnormal rhythms
  • Examining of joints for inflammation and pain.

The following are major diagnostic criteria for rheumatic fever:

  • Polyarthritis
  • Sydenham’s chorea
  • Heart inflammation
  • Subcutaneous skin nodules
  • Erythema marginatum

Minor criteria

  • Fever
  • Abnormal heartbeat on an electrocardiogram
  • New heart murmurs
  • Joint pain without inflammation
  • Blood test
  • Evidence of rheumatic heart disease

Complications of rheumatic fever

  • Endocarditis
  • Arrythmias
  • Damage to heart valves
  • Heart failure
  • Pericarditis

Treatment

An anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids (prednisone)or aspirin are effective to reduce the symptoms of rheumatic fever. In some cases, antibiotics will be taken by person with positive cultures for strep throat. Rheumatic fever is also treated by low dose antibiotics such as sulfadiazine, penicillin or erythromycin. An over-the-counter or specific dose of aspirin may recommend by the doctor to reduce inflammation of joints and heart.

When to seek medical advice

If someone has symptoms and signs of rheumatic fever, call the health care provider immediately. If somebody has symptoms of other conditions such as strep throat, go to the doctor as soon as possible.

Prevention

The proper treatment of scarlet fever and strep throat is the best way to prevent the disease. Improving living conditions and hygiene for long-term prevention of rheumatic fever. It can be prevented easily by treating skin infections and strep throat with antibiotics. It is advisable that aspirin should not be given to babies for reduce the fever.