Acute rheumatic fever disease, which is popularly called cardiac rheumatism, emerges as one of the most common causes of acquired heart diseases in adulthood and especially in childhood. Untreated throat infections can occur with acute rheumatic fever (ARA) after about 3 weeks. Since this infection is widespread and very severe in places such as schools, dormitories, and military units where people live collectively, inadequate treatment in these places increases the possibility of developing acute rheumatic fever. Associate Professor of Cardiology. Dr. Serkan Akdağ gave information about acute rheumatic fever.
Heart rheumatism can cause permanent damage to the body
While the possibility of developing acute rheumatic fever and related heart valve diseases has decreased considerably in industrialized countries thanks to early diagnosis and adequate treatments, this situation still continues to be an important health problem in developing countries. The most common symptom of acute rheumatic fever is arthritis, which consists of pain, swelling and redness in the large joints. Although this picture of joint involvement, which is quite painful, usually heals without leaving any disease residue, it may cause permanent damage after heart and brain involvement in some cases.
Consult your doctor if you have these symptoms
Shortness of breath,
Don’t get tired quickly while walking
cold hands and feet,
Attention to children aged 5-15 years
Cardiac involvement is seen in up to 50% of all patients with acute rheumatic fever, and in approximately 70% of patients with cardiac involvement, it becomes more evident in later years, resulting in heart valve damage. The age of infection is usually in childhood (between 5-15 years of age). After the problems in the early period have passed, the patients do not have any complaints for a long time. Complaints such as shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitations due to valve damage begin to appear between the ages of 20-40. The disease has a rather slowly progressive character. However, frequent recurrent attacks of throat infections can accelerate the course of the disease and cause complaints at an earlier age. This important point has revealed the necessity of protecting patients from getting sick frequently. The most important protection method applied all over the world is protective needles applied every 2 days. This is a situation that is decided by the physician after the evaluation of many factors, such as the form, dose and duration of the treatment.
Early diagnosis and treatment are vital
Early diagnosis and adequate treatment of throat infections in childhood, taking adequate preventive measures in public places will reduce the possibility of developing acute rheumatic fever. In patients with acute rheumatic fever, early diagnosis and treatment, preventive treatments at appropriate duration and dose, annual echocardiography follow-up for control purposes will minimize the rate of development of valve damage that may develop in the future and the need for early intervention due to valve damage.