Rheumatic fever causes inflammation, especially of the heart, blood vessels, and joints.

Symptoms include fever and painful, tender joints.

Treatment involves medication, sometimes for life.

A disease that can result from inadequately treated strep throat or scarlet fever.

Consult a doctor for medical advice

Sources:  Mayo Clinic and others.

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Cases per year

Fewer than 20,000 US cases per year

Treatable by a medical professional

Requires a medical diagnosis

Lab tests or imaging often required

Critical: needs emergency care

Short-term: resolves within days to weeks

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