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Rheumatic Fever

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease caused by streptococcus bacteria. Typically rheumatic fever tends to affect children in the age group 6 - 15 years. Often rheumatic fever tends to follow a strep throat or scarlet fever or any other streptococcus infection. Rheumatic fever is characterized by symptoms such as fever and skin rash. The joints tend to get swollen and painful. Rheumatic fever damages the heart valves and can lead to severe disabling problems. Persons who have suffered a case of rheumatic fever have a tendency to develop flare-ups with repeated strep infections. The patient may experience chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. The patient suffers heart inflammation accompanied by weakness or chest pain. There may be involuntary jerky movements of hands and legs. Rheumatic fever can lead to Sydenham's chorea - a temporary nervous system disorder.


Blood counts, ESR and ECG help in diagnosing rheumatic fever. A physician will check joints for pain and inflammation and listen for any abnormal rhythms in your heart. It is essential that persons suffering from strep infection treat it without delay lest it manifest into rheumatic fever. Any nodules over swollen joints and red rashes on the chest, back and abdomen must not be ignored. Treatment for rheumatic fever involves reduction of inflammation and antibiotics such as penicillin, sulfadiazine or erythromycin. Persons suffering from rheumatic fever can suffer heart damage and attacks. Treatment for rheumatic fever usually includes anti-infective agents and anti-inflammatory agents. Sometimes cardiac medications are also prescribed for patients suffering from rheumatic fever.

Pharyngitis

When the pharynx is inflamed, it is referred to as a sore throat or Pharyngitis. This condition is a common occurrence when there is any viral upper respiratory infection. In severe cases, Pharyngitis can also be indicative of diphtheria, gonorrhea or HIV. Pharyngitis is usually caused by micro organisms such as Streptococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae cause bacterial pharyngitis. This condition is contagious and is usually noticed in the winter months. Allergies, exposure to smoke and pollutants can cause sore throat and pharyngitis due to postnasal drip. If left untreated, pharyngitis can lead to rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, tonsillitis or pneumonia.


A person suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection such as pharyngitis will have sore throat and difficulty in swallowing. Accompanying fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes in the neck will also be noticed. Other symptoms of pharyngitis include cough, swollen tonsils and post nasal drip. There may be headache and earache. A physician will check the patient's eyes, throat and lymph nodes in the neck. A throat swab culture is done to diagnose the cause of infection. Bacterial infection or strep throat is treated with suitable antibiotics.


  • Adequate rest
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Warm salt water gargle
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Adequate rest
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Warm salt water gargle
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol

Oral thrush

Fungal Throat Infection is also referred to as oral thrush. It is an infection caused by the yeast fungus Candida albicans. In most people, the presence of Candida in the oral cavity is not uncommon. It is only when there is a change that favors the growth of candida that a fungal throat infection develops. Conditions such as diabetes, AIDS and malnutrition can trigger this change.


Persons suffering from oral thrush will notice whitish spots in the mouth. There may be burning or bleeding. It can lead to fungal infection of the throat and consequently nausea and difficulty in swallowing. A throat culture helps in identifying the micro organisms that cause the infection in the throat. It could reveal epiglottis, strep throat, pharyngitis or diphtheria. Anti fungal drugs such as nystatin, amphotericin or miconazole are used to treat oral thrush.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 20, 2019