Rheumatic fever is quite common and occurs worldwide, affecting more than 2 million people across the globe. The worst part is that this fever affects children primarily between the age group of 5 to 15. The symptoms of this fever are many and normally develop between 1 to 5 weeks after the throat infection. All symptoms might not be bothersome but for children these tend to get serious many times. Some symptoms are quite common and suggest the condition, while many others are uncommon and quite rare and need careful medical attention before the actual confirmation of the condition.
Diagnosis of Rheumatic fever is very crucial because undiagnosed and hence untreated disease condition may ultimately lead to death in some patients. Here are some such symptoms which will help you to understand, if you are or someone else has developed rheumatic fever.
Symptoms Of Rheumatic Fever
Pain In The Joints
The most common symptom is swelling and pain in body joints which affects 4 out of 5 people. The joints which are generally affected are elbows, ankles, knees and wrists.
The worst part is that pain occurs in all the joints at the same time, which makes movement really difficult. This symptom of arthritis occurs in the first four weeks.
This is one of the most serious symptoms of rheumatoid fever, though very common. Inflammation of the heart or carditis occurs in 40% cases and unfortunately common in case of children.
The inflammation of the heart causes breathing problems since the heart finds it difficult to pump blood in the body. This leaves the individual gasping for breath and causing immense breathlessness.
Other symptoms due to heart inflammation are rapid heartbeats, feeling of tiredness and exhaustion, chest pain and uneasiness, persistent coughing and shortness of breath. All these symptoms can last for many months.
Rheumatoid fever causes inflammation of nerves which is often referred to as sydenham chorea. This causes a number of problems in the individual and most of these are uncontrollable and involuntary. This includes sudden twitching of the hands and feet and immense difficulty in accomplishing a few tasks which need fine movements of the hand like writing. It also causes difficulties in motion, causes sudden emotional outbursts through laughing loudly or crying without any proper reason.
Children between the age of 1 to 10 suffering from rheumatic fever tend to develop skin rashes. These are non itchy and mostly painless but are noticed easily. These rashes are mainly in the chest and back. The symptoms can stay for a few weeks or months. However, the symptom of skin rashes is not common in adults.
Lesser Known Symptoms
Many symptoms are less common and occur in a few cases. These include the occurrence of painless bumps or small lumps just under the skin. High temperature with abdominal pain also occurs in many cases and needs to be taken care of. Nosebleeds also occur in a few cases.
Rheumatoid fever is often associated with sudden outburst of a few symptoms altogether. It is crucial recognize the symptoms correctly.