Rheumatic fever: Its causes, symptoms, types and treatments

Rheumatic fever is the originator of the heart disease in childhood. Adults fear from the heart disease the most. But the heart disease can befall in the childhood too the chief cause of which is rheumatic fever. This present article deals with its ill effects, type, form and nature, diagnosis and treatment methods for your benefits.

The onset of the rheumatic fever begins in the neck or other parts of the body as a result of the infection of the streptococcus bacteria species. Protein is formed after the setting in of the infection in the body by the membrane of the cells against the protein and sucrose. This antobodies (anti streptolysin) damages the tissues of different organs of body, as a result of which rheumatic fever springs up having damaging effects on several organs of the body. But due to this fever, the valves of the heart and get particularly impacted permanently. From studies, it has been found that among all the heart patients, about 16 % to 5o % are heart patients due to rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever attacks mostly in the majority of cases in the ages of 5 to 15 years. According to surveys, the visitation of this disease is prevalent much more among the children living in cities compared to the children living in villages and kasbas. This disease doesn't differentiate between old, young and children. Children living in slums, poor colonies with polluted environs are more prone of becoming victims to streptococcus infection. Malnourished children become an easy prey to this disease due to their immune system being weak increasing the chances of rheumatic fever befalling on them in increased measures.

Mostly, this disease surface up on the neck of children due to which complications of sore throat, cough, fever etc come in and children become cured. If proper treatment is not taken on time, antibodies form in the body causing the fever to return again damaging the heart. Swelling comes on the joints, pain is felt, glands surface up on skin and peculiar actions in the body seem to be developing. Chest pain is felt due to the swelling in the membranes of the muscles of heart.

Complications that erupt from rheumatic fever

  • Rheumatic fever:
    The person who becomes victim of rheumatic fever at once develops pain and swelling on the big joints simultaneously at the same time. The pain and swelling subsides within a week.

  • Subcutaneous nodules:
    In this, glands could surface up on skin, particularly where bones are bulging out such as elbows, vertebrae, chest, head etc.

  • Corima:
    The behavioural patterns of some children change after the attack of the rheumatic fever. There could be imbalances on the emotional levels. Items could fall down the hands. Abnormal actions are made by the patient appearing as if they are dancing. This problem also vanishes within 2-6 weeks.

  • Rheumatic heart disease
    The most devastating and permanent consequence of rheumatic fever falls on the heart. In it, the membranes of heart, muscles of heart and the internal surface of heart get damaged. Due to the muscles getting damaged, pain in chest is felt. The valves of heart become dented as a result these swivel in making them difficult to close fully. This disease is called variously as mitral stenosis, mitral incapitace, and aortic stenosis, aortic incapitace etc. The damages on valves bring about devastating long range cataclysmic consequence, obstructing the blood flow causing heart failure. The functioning of heart retards drastically. Breath swells. Swelling comes on body. The mental/physical growth is impaired.

Effects of impacted heart valves

Due to the heart valves getting damaged from the rheumatic fever, blood clots very easily form reaching brain, blocking blood flow causing paralysis. The infection on the internal surface of heart (endocarditis) causes grave consequences.

Diagnoses of rheumatic fever

The confirmation of the rheumatic fever is gotten from its symptoms and the measures of the level of the anti streptolysin into blood. But it is always safer that the child is treated after testing the child's streptococoi infection. Carelessness might put the life to jeopardy. The bacteria from the neck should lab tested. If the streptococoi infection is detected, full antibiotic course should be taken. In state of rheumatic fever, ECG, X-Rays of joints, blood tests give clues of the affected part.

Treating the rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is the indicative warning of an underlying developing disease beginning with an ordinary throat infection resulting into the damages being caused in several other parts of body. Its permanent, serious ill consequences fall on heart particularly on the forehead. Never take the throat infection easy and get it examined properly if it persists for longer period.

The child should be fully restedfor2-3 weeks. When the heart is affected, it is imperative to take complete rest for 2-3 months.

During the course of attack of rheumatic fever should be kept under control. Pain killers could be given in case of joint pain. These patients are given penicillin injections twice a day for 10 days. Corima should also be treated properly.


In case of heart failure, minimise the intake of salt. Injection of benjathin penicillin is administered in the patients suffering from rheumatic fever in order to stem the increase of this disease at an interval of 21 days up to the age of 35 years. Rest should be injected lifelong. The valve relating complications could be treated by taking recourses to the expanding of heart or through their implants. After the attack of the rheumatic fever, aspirin or cartison should be taken regularly for a period of 5 years.

The consequences of the rheumatic fever are serious beginning from the neck/throat. Therefore, utmost care has to be taken in the case of the throat of the child. Give the child the full course of antibiotic so that the disease is removed. The connection of infection is cosy with the standard of life and nutrition. The upbringing of the child should be in pure environs. Give nutritional and well balanced food to the child so that the child doesn't live malnourished.

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