Everything in this universe is consequential, so is human life on this planet. A human body is probably the finest machine that one can find on this planet, and everyone should treat their bodies as they would treat a prized possession. We should ensure that we take a proper care of bodies. Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that arises as the result of the untreated or inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever. A throat infection which is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, if left untreated may cause rheumatic fever.

Children belonging to 5-15 years of age are commonly diagnosed with the disease but it could also happen to the adults. This disease still remains common and prevalent in South Central Asia and African counties. Rheumatic fever could be a serious life-threatening disease because if it is not treated properly it can lead to Rheumatic heart fever. Rheumatic heart fever can cause infection to the valves and heart failure.

Causes of Rheumatic fever:

Rheumatic fever is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacterium which causes strep throat, and in some individuals, it may also cause an inflammatory disease called scarlet fever.

The strep bacteria have a similar protein that resembles the one found in certain tissues of the body. It manipulates the immune system into the treating the body’s own tissues as an infection and produces the antibodies which attack the body tissues specifically the tissues of heart, joints, skin and nervous system.

Symptoms:

Rheumatic fever symptoms do not remain same for all and may vary from person to person. These symptoms usually develop within 2-3 weeks after strep throat infection manifests. The symptoms include the following.

  • Painful joints or arthritis
  • Fever with a temperature above 101F
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing

Treatment:

Treating the rheumatic fever involves completely getting rid of the traces of the Group A Streptococcal bacterium, treating the symptoms and controlling the inflammation. It includes the following

Anti-inflammatory treatment:

Anti-inflammatory treatment includes the prescription of pain relievers like aspirin or naproxen to relieve the pain, break the fever and reduce the inflammation. If the patient does not respond to the medication, the doctor might recommend corticosteroids.

Antibiotics: You will be treated with antibiotics like penicillin to destroy all the traces of the strep bacteria. This antibiotics medication may continue for 5 years to prevent the recurrence of rheumatic fever. In case of a damage to the heart, the doctor will recommend antibiotics medication for 10 years or longer