Rheumatic Fever


What were your rheumatic fever symptoms and signs? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Ashteh, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 24

I had rheumatic fever at around age 18-19, and almost had to drop out of nursing school because of the pain from the polyarthritis, the shortness of breath, and the dependent edema from the carditis. Pretty much scored all the Jones criteria for it, but it’s amazing that I had not had any residual heart problems. I had another bout of strep in 2014 and my doctor promptly put me on 2 years of penicillin. I had strep throat again just 2 weeks ago, and penicillin again.

Comment from: Moniluv, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever at 13. I don't remember the strep throat infections. But I remember severe nose bleeds, painful swollen joints, rash, shortness of breath and fatigue. I was restricted from basically everything. I was on antibiotics till I was 21. I spent the 10th grade at home. I developed mitral valve regurgitation for which I had valve repair at 22, and later on symptoms of atrial fibrillation and CHF (congestive heart failure).

Comment from: Papa Greg, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

I was born in 1947. My late mother, a retired nurse, over the years had reminded me that I had rheumatic fever (RF) and was in bed for six months. I do not remember that. But, I could not play high school sports. Later, I was drafted and though I told doctors about the RF, I passed my physical. I served my active duty in Europe and then retired out of the Army Reserve. In all the physicals I received over those twenty years, nothing related to RF showed up. However, not long after, I started having occasional palpitations. My internist diagnosed supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). He has treated me with medication since and I rarely have any symptoms. However, my life style has been rather sedate. I have had some arthritis over that last twenty years or so, but probably not related to RF but being older.

Comment from: eva, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever at 34 by an Indian doctor who has seen cases like mine in children in India. I have had excruciating pain in my joints for more than a month but the doctors did not suspect it because it was unusual for my age. I was put on penicillin for 5 years. My problem is that even 9 years later I get pain in my joints and some chest pain several times a year; usually when the weather changes. Doctors tell me that rheumatic fever does not have this effect but the pain is pretty real.

Comment from: dannyk4, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 08

I was in third grade when I first contracted rheumatic fever. It went undiagnosed until my father believed I was dying and took me to another doctor who knew what it was. My fever was above 106 and I lay on a couch in such pain for quite some time and when my father tried to carry me to the bathroom I would scream in pain. I caught it again in fourth grade and was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur and started taking penicillin daily until the age of seventeen. Prior to turning eighteen I enlisted into the USN during the Vietnam War but had to wait until I was eighteen and in my physical they could not find a trace of a heart murmur. Today I am sixty-five years old and suffer with pain in all of my joints as do others and all I keep hearing is that the rheumatic fever has nothing to do with my rheumatoid arthritis which I don’t believe.

Comment from: Devon, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I had rheumatic fever following a missed strep throat when I was 11 (1951) and living in London, England. I was in hospital for 3 months, complete bed rest for 1 month, then was gradually allowed up. I was on penicillin injections and phenobarbital but don't know for how long. I recovered and have no obvious heart problems other than a slight murmur. I now have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, rheumatoid arthritis, and possibly Sjogren's disease. I would love to know if there's any connection.

Comment from: Navynurse, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I had strep throat several times during my high school years. During my senior year, 1973, my small town general practitioner diagnosed rheumatic fever because of fever, elevated SED rate and heart murmur. By the time I entered the military 6 years later, a cardiologist checked me out and said he thought that was a misdiagnosis. Now I have hyperadrenergic postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. I'm wondering if I really had Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) back then.

Comment from: vric, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

I had strep throat around third grade (I'm 62) and remember wishing I'd die. Mom told me as an adult it had crossed into rheumatic fever with a fever of 104. Most likely it was full blown before seeing a doctor. I have a mitral valve prolapse but no one asked about rheumatic fever. Now I'm having gait problems. My general physician suspects multiple sclerosis and my research found the fever to be a possible culprit. I'll be seeing neurologist in a couple of weeks.


Just about any painful sore throat is caused by strep. See Answer

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