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Definition of «Rheumatic fever»

Rheumatic fever: An illness that occurs following a streptococcus infection (such as a "strep throat") or scarlet fever and predominantly affects children. Symptoms include fever, pain in the joints, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Rheumatic fever can cause long-lasting effects in the skin, joints, heart, and brain.

Rheumatic fever may be followed by Sydenham's chorea and by symptoms characteristic of obsessive-compulsive disorder or a tic disorder.

The diagnosis of rheumatic fever is made by history and observation. A blood marker has recently been found for rheumatic fever, but a test is not yet commercially available.

Treatment is usually by prophylactic antibiotics, as recurrence is common and can cause further damage to body tissues.

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