Know rheumatic fever!

Various types of fevers like typhoid fever, malaria fever, and pneumonia fever are common in many people from time to time. So is rheumatic fever. This fever is a type of infectious fever that affects children. It is a fever that starts in the joints and affects the heart. Heart surgeon Dr. Guru Prasad shares with us what rheumatic fever is and how it can affect you.

What is rheumatic fever?

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease of the throat in children living in unsanitary places. It can start in the joints and affect the heart. Hence, it is also called rheumatic heart disease. This fever is caused by a bacterial infection called streptococcal.

This fever mostly affects children between 5 and 15 years of age. It is caused by lack of oral hygiene, living in unhygienic environment, being in unhygienic crowded places, drinking unhygienic water etc. In general, children have the habit of taking the things available in their hands and putting them in their mouths. Due to this, a lot of bacteria will develop in the mouth of children. One of those types is streptococcal bacteria. This disease is caused by beta hemolytic streptococcal bacteria that cause throat infections.

This bacterial infection first causes severe fever and immobilizes the joints. When its effect increases, it affects the valves called blood vessels in the heart. This means that the impact of this bacterial infection can lead to bleeding in the heart valves or the risk of the valves shrinking and closing. If the heart valve suddenly shrinks and closes like a scar in a certain area, the blood passing through it cannot flow and stagnates in one place. or bleeding. This is why when this fever occurs, children have severe pain in their joints that they cannot even stand up and walk.

As far as India is concerned, rheumatic fever has seen a rise in heart attacks among children and young people over the past 20 years. But, it must be said that this rheumatic fever is not so common lately. However, it can happen to a few people like the so-called remote area hamlets, tribal areas, children living in extreme poverty, and people living in crowded places. But that too is less.


Often many people do not realize they have a rheumatic fever infection at first. If it continues for more than two weeks, it can cause other health problems and cause many symptoms. Symptoms can vary widely depending on which part of the child’s body is affected. When rheumatic fever is severe, there are few symptoms. For example, one of the most common symptoms of rheumatic fever is a rash. The skin is flat and red with irregular edges.

Other common rheumatic fever symptoms

Fever lasting more than two weeks
Sore throat
Difficulty in swallowing

Swelling of the child’s knees, ankles and elbows.
Inability to move arms, legs or other body parts.
Small bumps under the baby’s skin

Chest pain or abnormal heartbeat
Excessive fatigue
Unexplained or persistent headaches

Muscle aches

Red tonsils
Abdominal or chest pain
Rashes or lumps anywhere on the body
Joint changes

etc. are seen as common symptoms. Whereas, once rheumatic fever develops, its symptoms can last for years. Rheumatic fever can even cause long-term complications in some cases. Rheumatic heart disease is one of them


The treatment for rheumatic fever is penicillin injections. Also, pain killers are given because the joints are very painful. Aspirin is given first if the fever increases and affects the heart. If the damage increases and the heart valve is narrowed, we will surgically remove the narrowed part of the valve and implant an artificial valve in that place.

But, what is important to know is that, as far as this rheumatic fever is concerned, although the fever usually gets better in childhood, if it has affected the heart valves, then the child is at risk of having heart-related problems even after old age. If a person is diagnosed with rheumatic fever, they are advised to get a penicillin shot every three weeks until at least their 40s, regardless of their age at onset. Or penicillin tablets should be taken daily.

In their old age, they have shortness of breath even after walking a short distance, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, leg swelling, body swelling, and heart rate variability. When he comes with these symptoms, his current condition is diagnosed and treated accordingly.

Ways to defend yourself

Keeping the environment clean and maintaining oral hygiene. Keeping children’s group areas clean. Teaching children about the importance of cleanliness. Living in unsanitary places and being unsanitary is the reason for the spread of this bacteria. Therefore, maintaining the environment and oral hygiene can prevent this rheumatic fever.

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