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Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever

Dive into the early signs of rheumatic fever with this comprehensive guide, revealing symptoms like fever, joint inflammation, body movements, subcutaneous nodules, chest pain, and fatigue.

  • 11 Jan 2024
  • 2 min read

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can develop after a streptococcal infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. Although it is usually treatable with antibiotics, it can sometimes occur as an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its own tissues. By recognising the common rheumatic fever symptoms, one can ensure they receive prompt medical attention and prevent serious complications down the line.


What are the Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever?

The common rheumatic fever signs and symptoms include:


  • Fever - Fever is usually one of the first acute rheumatic fever symptoms that shows up.
  • Swollen, tender, and red joints: This is seen especially in the knees, ankles, and elbows. The pain tends to move around from joint to joint.
  • Involuntary, jerky body movements: This is known as Sydenham's chorea, characterised by quick motions that are unable to be controlled and often occur in the hands, feet, or face.
  • Small bumps under the skin called subcutaneous nodules: These painless nodules typically occur over bony areas.
  • Chest pain and abnormal heart rhythms: The heart can become inflamed with pericarditis or myocarditis, which can be life-threatening.
  • Extreme fatigue: Patients often feel chronically tired as their body fights the internal inflammation.
  • Aches: People may have severe headaches, which could indicate inflammation of the brain. Muscle pain and aches throughout the body might also occur.
  • Enlarged, red tonsils: This may be an effect left over from the initial strep infection.

Also read:


Catching a streptococcal infection early and completing the full course of antibiotics can help prevent the delayed autoimmune response of rheumatic fever. Pay attention to rheumatic fever symptoms like painful joints, rashes, chorea movements, fatigue and fever. Remember, early detection and treatment are the key to a successful recovery from this inflammatory condition.

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