What is Rheumatic Fever?
Rheumatic fever develops as a complication of a bacterial throat infection known as ‘strep throat’, and causes widespread inflammation throughout the body.
It can develop into rheumatic heart disease, which causes permanent damage to the heart, increasing the risk of heart failure, stroke and death.
How common is Rheumatic Fever?
Before the introduction of antibiotics rheumatic fever was one of the leading causes of heart disease in the UK. Now, the condition is rare, affecting less than 1 in every 100,000 people in England every year.
However, rheumatic fever is common in developing countries, particularly Saharan Africa, south central Asia, and the Aborigine and Maori communities. Children make up around 80% of the cases of rheumatic fever.
What are the symptoms of Rheumatic Fever?
The symptoms of rheumatic fever usually develop after strep throat. These include a high temperature, a red skin rash, headache, weight loss, nose bleeds, chest pain, vomiting, joint pain, excessive sweating and unusual and uncontrollable body movements.
How is Rheumatic Fever treated?
Since there is no cure for rheumatic fever treatment aims to remove any streptococcal bacteria with antibiotics, relieve symptoms with anti-inflammatories, and to prevent long term damage to your heart.
To ensure full cover for all investigations choose a policy with full outpatient cover.