Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with Streptococcus haemolyticus type A bacteria. It can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain. It is fairly common in India and is responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves. It mainly affects children ages 6 -15, and occurs approximately 3 weeks after strep throat. Diagnosis is by Jones criteria, fleeting joint pain being the most significant symptom. Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin or corticosteroids reduce inflammation to help manage acute rheumatic fever. Prophylactic antibiotics mainly Benzathine penicillin is recommended for five (or more) years. Damage to heart valves, in particular, mitral stenosis and aortic stenosis are two main harmful sequelae. Most important way to prevent rheumatic fever is by treating strep throat in time.


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