Rheumatic fever symptoms vary. You can have few symptoms or several, and symptoms can change during the course of the disease. The onset of rheumatic fever usually occurs about two to four weeks after a strep throat infection.
Rheumatic fever signs and symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
- Heart murmur
- Jerky, uncontrollable body movements (Sydenham chorea, or St. Vitus' dance) — most often in the hands, feet and face
- Pain in one joint that migrates to another joint
- Painful and tender joints — most often in the knees, ankles, elbows and wrists
- Red, hot or swollen joints
- Small, painless bumps beneath the skin
Have your child see a doctor for signs or symptoms of strep throat. Proper treatment of strep can prevent rheumatic fever. Also, have your child see a doctor if he or she shows other indications of rheumatic fever.
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