Rheumatic fever also known scarlet fever is one of the infectious inflammation causing diseases caused due to infection through streptococcal pharyngitis. The inter-reactivity of antibodies in this fever mainly effect on the body parts of the patient including joints, heart, brain and skin within 2-3 weeks after the initiation of the infection. Rheumatic fever is found mainly in the children in the age group of 6-15 years and very few adults are seen attacked by this infection. Rheumatic fever is accompanied with pains effecting any of the joints from sever to medium nature with or without inflammation shifting from one joint to other invariably in the patient's body of any age group.
Diagnosing Rheumatic fever
The diagnosis of rheumatic fever is usually based on two types of symptoms:
Major symptoms of rheumatic fever: include migrating pain and inflammation in major joints starting from leg to upper joints, irritation in heart muscles, painless accumulation of fibers bulging out on elbows, knees or wrists, rashes on arms and trunk and sensations on the face.
Minor symptoms of rheumatic fever: include pain in joints without inflammation, temperature remains between 101 and 103 degree F, abdominal pain, nose bleeds, ECG shows heart blockage, erythrocyte sedimentation rate rises and inactive heart disease is experienced due to previous session of rheumatic fever.
Treatment of rheumatic fever
After proper diagnosis of rheumatic fever the treatment starts with the emphasis on the reduction of inflammations through anti-inflammatory medicines.
Corticosteroids, aspirin etc. anti-inflammatory medicines are used to settle down inflammations in the major joints. Several side effects of these medicines are noticed in some people like salicylate poisoning, gastritis etc. Aspirin and linked medicines should be used with care for the child and teenager patients of rheumatic fever as they can cause some serious and deadly infections.
Certain antibiotics are also used as per the individual patient's condition of throat. Ibuprofen is also used for pain and discomfort in the joints, skin etc due to Rheumatic fever Corticosteroids can also be used to control moderate to severe reactions of inflammation Steroids are used if the evidence of involvement of heart in rheumatic fever is experienced Monthly injections of long effective penicillin must be given for a period of five years in patients having one attack of rheumatic fever
While treating rheumatic fever continual use of low-dose antibiotics like penicillin, erythromycin or sulfadiazine is suggested to prevent its recurrence.