Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with Streptococcus bacteria (such as
Acute rheumatic fever
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Rheumatic fever is common worldwide and is responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves. It is not common in the United States, and usually occurs in isolated outbreaks. The latest outbreak was in the 1980s.
Rheumatic fever mainly affects children ages 6 -15, and occurs approximately 20 days after strep throat or scarlet fever.
Review Date: 05/09/2010
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pahtophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.