Navigation Links
Diagnosing Strep Key to Curbing Rheumatic Heart Disease
Date:2/26/2009

Untreated, one throat strain can lead to damaging fever, physicians warn

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The best way to prevent the developing world incidence of rheumatic fever and the heart disease it can cause is through accurate diagnosis and thorough treatment of strep throat, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement.

While generally rare in the United States, rheumatic fever and subsequent rheumatic heart disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular death in people under age 50 in developing nations. The inflammatory disease, which can affect connective tissues in the skin, joints and brain, and possibly cause irreversible heart damage, briefly resurfaced in localized U.S. civilian and military populations in the 1980s.

"This reappearance of acute rheumatic fever reminds physicians, parents and others about the importance of continued attention to prevention of rheumatic fever in the United States and in other developed countries," Dr. Michael A. Gerber, lead author of the scientific statement, said in a heart association news release.

The statement, published in Circulation, updates one issued 14 years ago and cites swabbing the back of the throat to obtain a culture and good clinical judgment as the best ways to diagnose strep throat.

One particular strain of strep throat, known as group A a-hemolytic streptococcus, or GAS pharyngitis, can develop into rheumatic fever if not properly treated with antibiotics.

"It's important to know that, while strep throat is most common in children five to 15 years old, most sore throats in this age group are not caused by this particular type of strep," said Gerber, a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. "In fact, most are caused by viruses, which do not raise the risk of rheumatic fever and are not treatable with antibiotics."

Symptoms of GAS pharyngitis may include sudden-onset of sore throat, pain when swallowing, and fever above 101 degrees. In children, headache, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting are also possible. The infection can occur with other upper respiratory tract infections, so an accurate throat culture is important for proper diagnosis and treatment.

If the infection progresses to rheumatic fever, the symptoms may include: fever; sore, tender or red swollen joints; pain that travels from one joint to another; heart palpitations; chest pain; shortness of breath; skin rashes; and small but painless bumps under the skin.

Even those who are properly treated with antibiotics after an initial bout of rheumatic fever are not safe. The chances of a recurrence are high if they again develop strep throat, and continuous treatments with penicillin or similar antibiotics are necessary to prevent further recurrences. Otherwise, the fever can worsen rheumatic heart disease or cause it in those who escaped it the first time.

Long-term preventive antibiotic therapy is also necessary for people who develop rheumatic carditis (inflammation of the heart or area around the heart) from the fever.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about GAS pharyngitis.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Feb. 26, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Laboratory at UI plays major role in diagnosing cancer
2. Experts Issue Guidelines on Diagnosing Seizure
3. Whole body MDCT just as good as neck MDCT angiography in diagnosing head and neck injuries
4. CT useful and effective when diagnosing patients with large bowel obstruction
5. New procedure in diagnosing small bowel disorders proves efficient and effective
6. Detecting, Diagnosing Breast Cancers
7. Ultrasound first, not CT, for diagnosing suspected acute appendicitis
8. High-Tech Imaging No Better for Diagnosing Head/Neck Cancers
9. New insights in diagnosing diabetes may help the millions who are undiagnosed
10. New Heart Ultrasound Research Shows Hope for Diagnosing and Treating Fatal Heart Conditions
11. Study shows emergency physicians have good first instincts in diagnosing heart attacks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Diagnosing Strep Key to Curbing Rheumatic Heart Disease
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , a ... its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... on June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: