Understanding the diseases involved

At some point in a person’s life, he or she is bound to have dealt with the unpleasant effects of a sore throat. That scratchy sensation that can develop within the throat is usually more of an inconvenience than any sort of serious medical issue, but it can potentially be harmful. Strep throat is not the same as a common sore throat because the cause of this is bacteria, and it’s also why it can develop into something more harmful. When left unchecked, strep throat can turn into rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that can affect different parts of the body.


It would be a slightly less worrisome issue if the parts of the body affected only included the throat, but rheumatic fever is more damaging than that. When allowed to persist within the body, rheumatic fever can cause damage to the heart, leading to further complications such as the development of heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease is particularly cruel and difficult to deal with because it manifests itself, mainly in children, and is a chronic disease that can affect them for the rest of their lives. To think that such an unfortunate development could come from something as seemingly innocuous as a sore throat only lends more credibility to the threat posed by the disease.

A few facts

It is worth mentioning that rheumatic fever, and rheumatic heart disease itself is a pretty rare disease. In the developed world where the bacteria known as strep is more greatly marginalized, cases wherein strep is allowed to develop up to the point where it can lead to heart problems is rare and steps would have been likely taken that would have nipped the threat in the bud. Rheumatic heart disease is still somewhat common in the developing world however, primarily because of the living conditions that exist in those communities.

Symptoms and treatment

If the disease progresses from strep throat to the more serious rheumatic fever, there are certain symptoms that people should be on the lookout for. These symptoms may include fever, the swelling of joints, chest pain, heart palpitations, problems with breathing, and even rashes. At this point, immediate action needs to be taken in order to avoid further risk of the disease verging into even more dangerous territory. Medication such as penicillin and antibiotics are necessary for fighting against the disease. If the disease and its symptoms are weakened by the medicine, this does not mean that intake of they should be stopped. Rheumatic fever can reappear quite quickly and unless the threat is completely eliminated, there is risk that it could develop into rheumatic heart disease if not handled correctly. Medical treatment over the long haul is recommended for the proper handling of the disease.