Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease

Rheumatic fever
Rheumatic fever is an auto immune disease which mainly occurs in children between ages of 5-15 years. It commonly occurs after throat infection by the causative agent of group ‘A’ beta hemolytic streptococcus. The body produces antibodies against these organisms but, there antibodies can cross reach with cells of the heart, joint and kidney. It affects joints to cause rheumatic arthritis, and affect heat to cause rheumatic heart disease. So, it is described as “Rheumatic fever licks the joint but bites the heart.”

Rheumatic heart disease
Rheumatic heart disease is caused by bacteria called ‘Beta-Haemolytic Streptococcus’. It is the most common acquired heart disease in Nepal. It commonly damages the vulves of the heart. This disease begins with pain in throat initially. Untreated throat infection (Tonsilitis and Pharyngitis) can later on lead to infection of heart and this condition is attributed to damage of the vulves of the heart in the secondary stage. This disease mostly attacks the children from 3 to 15 years age group.

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