Rheumatic Heart Disease

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Definition

Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which permanent damage to heart valves is caused by rheumatic fever. The heart valve is damaged by a disease process that generally begins with a strep throat caused by bacteria called Streptococcus, and may eventually cause rheumatic fever.


Symtoms

The symptoms of rheumatic fever usually start about one to five weeks after your child has been infected with Streptococcus bacteria. The following are the most common symptoms of rheumatic fever. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include :
  • Joint inflammation - including swelling, tenderness, and redness over multiple joints. The joints affected are usually the larger joints in the knees or ankles. The inflammation "moves" from one joint to another over several days.
  • Small nodules or hard, round bumps under the skin.
  • A change in your child's neuromuscular movements (this is usually noted by a change in your child's handwriting and may also include jerky movements).
  • Rash (a pink rash with odd edges that is usually seen on the trunk of the body or arms and legs).
  • Fever.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Stomach pains.

The symptoms of rheumatic fever may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Source : http://www.chw.org

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