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Causes of Rheumatic Fever

This article explores the primary causes, emphasizing group A streptococcus bacteria from infections like strep throat. Gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex etiology of rheumatic fever.

  • 12 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read

Rheumatic fever is a serious inflammatory disease that can damage the heart valves and joints. It occurs when a throat infection caused by certain bacteria, like strep, is not adequately treated. It may happen to anybody, although it primarily affects children. Rheumatic fever remains an important cause of cardiovascular disease in developing parts of the world. In this article, we’ll explore the various rheumatic fever causes.


What are the Causes of Rheumatic Fever

Listed below is the main etiology of rheumatic fever:

  • The group A streptococcus bacteria that cause strep throat and scarlet fever may also cause rheumatic fever as a secondary infection in the throat.
  • Further, it can result from diseases such as scarlet fever or strep throat that are not properly treated, although receiving antibiotics right once greatly reduces the risk.
  • There is still uncertainty regarding the exact process by which a strep infection causes rheumatic fever. It is speculated that the bacteria may trick the immune system into attacking healthy tissues, especially those found in the skin, joints, heart, and central nervous system.
  • Rheumatic fever is characterised by swelling of the joints and tissues because of inflammation brought on by the immune system's mistaken reaction.

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Untreated strep throat or scarlet fever infections brought on by group A streptococcus bacteria frequently result in rheumatic fever. Antibiotic therapy started right away lowers the danger. Rheumatic fever seldom results from group A strep infections connected to the skin, although its precise origin is yet unknown. This acute rheumatic fever causes the immune system to wrongly target healthy tissues, inflaming the skin, joints, heart, and nervous system.

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