What is acute rheumatic fever?
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease, affecting the connective tissue in the body. The most severe complication is his rheumatic heart disease. This disease can cause damage to the heart valves, regulate blood flow within the heart.
Acute rheumatic fever – causes
Rheumatism causes Streptococcus group a Streptococcus pyogenes, also causes strep throat. In the case of illness pharyngitis body produces antibodies to fight infection, but antibodies can also attack the heart.
Risk factors for acute rheumatic fever
Factors, which can increase the risk of rheumatic fever include:
- The presence of acute pharyngitis;
- The presence of an attack of rheumatic fever in the past;
- Age: from 5 to 15 years.
Acute rheumatic fever – symptoms
Symptoms usually appear in the area of 2 to 4 weeks after infection, streptococcal infection. They may include:
- Pain and swelling of large joints;
- Muscle aches;
- Chest pain;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Hacking cough;
- The circular rash;
- The bumps under the skin;
- Abnormal, jerky movements of arms and legs.
Acute rheumatic fever – diagnostics
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical examination. The survey will include a thorough examination of the functioning of the heart.
Other tests may include:
- For the analysis of body fluids and tissues appointed:
- Blood tests;
- The study of bacterial culture of a throat;
- Maybe, You will need to take pictures of the heart, Why apply:
- Chest radiography;
- To study the activity of the heart is assigned to the ECG.
Acute rheumatic fever – treatment
The goals of treatment are as follows:
- The destruction of the bacteria streptococcus;
- Removing inflammation, caused by rheumatic fever;
- Treatment of heart disease;
- Preventing rheumatism in the future.
Methods of treatment of acute rheumatic fever may include:
For the treatment of streptococcal infections appointed:
- Penicillin or other antibiotics, such as erythromycin and azithromycin;
- They can be administered orally or by injection.
To relieve the pain and swelling in the joints are used:
- Aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – only on doctor's advice;
- Corticosteroids – They may be assigned, If NSAIDs have not brought the desired effect, or if there is an inflammation of the heart.
Recovery from acute rheumatic fever
In some cases the inflammation can be very serious, and after the treatment you have to rest for a certain period of time.
Prevention of acute rheumatic fever
It is important to immediately begin treatment of acute pharyngitis. This will help to prevent rheumatic fever. If you or your child has a sore throat and fever, that lasts more than 24 hours, consult a doctor.