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.
Consult a doctor for medical advice
Sources: Mayo Clinic and others.
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