What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever?
- Swollen, tender, red, and extremely painful joints -- particularly the knees, ankles , elbows, or wrists
- A red, raised, lattice-like rash, usually on the chest, back, and abdomen
- Nodules, or small protuberances, over the swollen joints
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath (caused by heart involvement)
- Uncontrollable or jerky movements of arms, legs, or facial muscles (called chorea)
These symptoms can show up one to five weeks after a strep throat or scarlet fever infection where these infections were not treated properly. Sometimes, however, people with rheumatic fever do not recall having had a sore throat.
Call Your Doctor About Rheumatic Fever If:
- You are experiencing the symptoms listed in the symptoms section, particularly if you remember having recently had a sore throat. You may have rheumatic fever and should receive medical attention.
- You have a sore throat without other cold symptoms accompanied by a fever higher than 101 F and swollen glands in your neck. You may have strep throat and should receive medical attention.
- You experience sudden and unexplained joint pain after recovering from strep throat.