Rheumatic fever is a disease of the heart that usually affects only young people. Unfortunately, this disease may result in serious and permanent injury to the heart, so that a person who has had it may have to be careful.
But he should still be able to lead a fairly active life. The cause of rheumatic fever seems to be an infection by certain bacteria. It is as if the person who gets this disease is allergic to these particular bacteria. And this may be a result of heredity.
The age of a person also seems to have a great deal to do with getting this disease. Those between the ages of six and nineteen get it most frequently. Those younger and older are not so likely to contract the disease.
Nearly all cases of rheumatic fever seem to come after an infection by the bacteria which are called Streptococcus. So it is likely to happen after a “strep” throat, tonsillitis, nose infection, or scarlet fever. That is why it is important to treat such infections promptly under a doctor’s care.
Often the symptoms of rheumatic fever are so slight that the person overlooks them completely. But a doctor may recognize the condition, and his treatment may help prevent it from becoming more serious. Sometimes when children suffer from what we call “growing pains”, they may really be having a slight attack of rheumatic fever and should be examined by a doctor.
The pains associated with rheumatic fever usually occur in the joints, especially the knee and elbow. In acute cases, there may be a very high fever. The joints swell up, become red, tender, and extremely painful. Sometimes, there are lumps beneath the skin, which is often a sign that it is a serious case. Treatment of this disease requires constant medical care.
What Are Types Of Rheumatic Diseases?
2. Rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Sjogren’s syndrome.