(1) An illness that occurs following a streptococcus infection (such as a “strep throat”) or scarlet fever and predominantly affects children. Symptoms include fever, pain in the joints, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Rheumatic fever can cause long-lasting effects in the skin, joints, heart, and brain.
Rheumatic fever may be followed by Sydenham's chorea and by symptoms characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder or a tic disorder.
The diagnosis of rheumatic fever is made by history and observation. A blood marker has recently been found for rheumatic fever, but a test is not yet commercially available.
Common Misspellings: rheumatic feaver
(2) An inflammatory illness that occurs as a delayed sequela of group A streptococcal infection
Major criteria: carditis, polyarthritis, chorea, subcutaneous nodules, and erythema marginatum
Minor criteria: a) previous rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease; b) arthralgia; c) fever; d) elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, positive C-reactive protein, or leukocytosis; and e) prolonged PR interval on an electrocardiogram