What is it?

Bacteria called group A Streptococcus or group A strep cause strep throat and scarlet fever- if not treated properly - Rheumatic fever may develop. It usually appears 1 to 5 weeks after strep throat or scarlet fever. It is thought to be caused by a response of the body’s immune system that responds to the earlier strep throat or scarlet fever infection and causes a generalized inflammatory response.

16 Alikes with Rheumatic Fever (RF)

Learn from others
who are experiencing
Rheumatic Fever (RF).

Signs & symptoms

Fever, Painful and tender joints — most often in the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. Pain in one joint that migrates to another joint, Red. hot or swollen joints. Small, painless bumps beneath the skin. Chest pain. Heart murmur. Fatigue. Flat or slightly raised, painless rash with a ragged edge. Jerky, uncontrollable body movements — most often in the hands, feet and face. Outbursts of unusual behavior, such as crying or inappropriate laughing.


On physical examination the doctor may look for: arthritis, arthralgia, erythema marginatum, subcutaneous nodules and signs of chorea.
Vital signs: Fever > (≥38.5°)
Blood tests: elevated CRP or ESR.
Cardiac Evaluation: ECG (prolonged PR interval), chest X-RAY, echocardiogram to look for carditis.
Evidence of prior GAS infection in one of the following ways: Positive throat culture for group A beta-hemolytic streptococci, Positive rapid streptococcal antigen test, Elevated or rising antistreptococcal antibody titer – Either antistreptolysin O (ASO) or antideoxyribonuclease B (ADB)


Antibiotics- to eliminate remaining strep bacteria (even up to 10 years if the patient has had heart inflammation).
Anti-inflammatory treatment- Aspirin or Naproxen. In some cases corticosteroid.
Anticonvulsant medications. For severe involuntary movements caused by Sydenham chorea

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

Alike Wisdom

Instantly get answers to medical questions with our AI, built from the collective wisdom of our community facing similar experiences

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Find people who are
experiencing a similar
medical reality

100% Free