Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can occur when strep throat or scarlet fever is not treated properly. Sore throats and scarlet fever are caused by a bacterial infection. mayoclinic Rheumatic fever most often affects children between the ages of 5 and 15, although it can affect young children and adults.
Rheumatic fever can cause permanent damage to the heart, including damage to the heart valves and heart failure, and treatments can reduce damage from inflammation, reduce pain and other symptoms, and prevent recurrence of rheumatic fever..
Symptoms of rheumatic fever vary. You can have few or many symptoms. Symptoms can change during the course of the disease. The onset of rheumatic fever usually occurs about two to four weeks after strep throat..
Signs and symptoms of rheumatic fever caused by inflammation of the heart, joints, skin or central nervous system – can include
Painful joints, often in the knees, ankles, elbows and wrists.
Pain in one joint that moves to another joint.
Red, hot, or swollen joints.
Small, painless bumps under the skin.
-hole in the heart.
Flat or slightly raised, painless rash with a jagged edge.
Uncontrollable jerky body movements.
Episodes of unusual behavior, such as inappropriate crying or laughing.
Rheumatic fever can occur after a sore throat from bacteria called group A streptococcus, and group A streptococcal infections in the throat cause strep throat or, less commonly, scarlet fever..
Rarely, group A streptococcal infections of the skin or other parts of the body can cause rheumatic fever.
The relationship between rheumatic fever infection and rheumatic fever is unclear, but the bacteria appear to deceive the immune system..
Streptococcus bacteria contain a protein similar to the protein found in certain tissues of the body. The body’s immune system, which usually targets infection-causing bacteria, attacks its tissues, especially tissues of the heart, joints, skin, and central nervous system. This reaction of the immune system results in tissue swelling (inflammation).
If your child receives prompt antibiotic treatment to get rid of the streptococcus bacteria and takes all medications as prescribed, there is little chance of rheumatic fever..
If your child has one or more episodes of strep throat or scarlet fever that has not been treated or is not fully treated, he may develop rheumatic fever..