What is the most common cause of rheumatic fever?
Rheumatic fever can occur after a throat infection from a bacteria called group A streptococcus. Group A streptococcus infections of the throat cause strep throat or, less commonly, scarlet fever. Group A streptococcus infections of the skin or other parts of the body rarely trigger rheumatic fever.
What happens to the heart after rheumatic fever?
Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. The heart valve damage may start shortly after untreated or under-treated streptococcal infection such as strep throat or scarlet fever.
What is a common serious complication of rheumatic fever?
The most serious complication of rheumatic fever is rheumatic heart disease (RHD). RHD is the most common cause of heart problems in children worldwide and can lead to damage to the heart valves and chronic heart failure. Rheumatic fever is preventable by treating strep throat with antibiotics, usually penicillin.
What is the best treatment for rheumatic fever?
Treatments include: Antibiotics. Your child’s doctor will prescribe penicillin or another antibiotic to eliminate remaining strep bacteria. After your child has completed the full antibiotic treatment, your doctor will begin another course of antibiotics to prevent recurrence of rheumatic fever.
How long does rheumatic fever last adults?
Once they develop, the symptoms of rheumatic fever can last for months or even years. Rheumatic fever can cause long-term complications in certain situations. One of the most prevalent complications is rheumatic heart disease.