Is Rheumatic Fever Contagious? | Scarlet vs Rheumatic Fever

A bacterium called Streptococcus is believed to be responsible for rheumatic fever. Infections caused by this in the early stages are called scarlet fever. When it is not treated at the right time, the risk of rheumatic fever increases and leads to rheumatic heart disease.

One of the main reasons for rheumatic fever in school children is that their immune system is not fully developed, but they are very much exposed to the external environment. In such a situation, the bacteria attack their weak bodies, and the immune system of the children is not able to fight them.

Children may have this problem due to genetic reasons. Even if the hygiene is not taken care of in the house, children can still get this fever.

Rheumatic fever:

  • It is an inflammatory disease of the heart involving all layers (endocardium, myocardium, and pericardium).

Rheumatic heart disease:

  • It is an autoimmune disorder resulting from rheumatic fever, and it includes scarring and deformity of the heart valves.
Rheumatic fever
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Table of Contents

Is rheumatic fever contagious?

No rheumatic fever is not a Contagious.

People cannot catch gonorrhea from anyone else because it is an immune reaction, not an infection. However, for people with strep throat or scarlet Fever, mainly through respiratory drops, group A spread the strap to others.

Also see: Is my Sore throat Covid or allergies ? | Sore throat first sign of covid

Causes of rheumatic fever

There is a direct and well-described association between certain streptococcal infections and arthritis. In general, the rheumatic fever group is preceded by a throat infection caused by beta-hemolytic Streptococcus bacteria.

Antibodies that attack their cells cause an inflammatory response that leads to a myriad of signs and symptoms described by modified criteria.

Streptococcal throat infection, but not rheumatic Fever. Symptoms of rheumatic Fever usually develop within a week or two after infection with streptococcal bacteria, and the first symptoms are usually painful joints or arthritis.

Symptoms of rheumatic fever

Major criteria

  • Carditis
  • Subcutaneous nodules: Durable, movable, non-soft collagen fibers over bones or tendons and about 3 mm-2 cm in diameter.
  • Polyarthritis: Sharp, sudden pain starts over the sternum and radiates to the neck, shoulders, back, and arms.
  • Sydenham’s chorea: Involuntary grimace and an inability to use skeletal muscles in a coordinated manner.

 Minor criteria:

  • Fever.
  • Arthralgia.
  • C reactive protein.
  • ECG shows prolong the PR interval.
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Other symptoms

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nose bleeds.
  • Mitral valve disease.
  • Aortic valve disease.
  • The mechanical valve problems.
  • Atrial fibrillation.

Scarlet fever vs. rheumatic fever

What is Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet Fever usually occurs if you already have a sore throat and are then infected with bacteria.

Scarlet Fever is a rash that covers most parts of the body.

What is Rheumatic Fever

Rheumatic Fever is an inflammatory infection that develops if your strep throat or scarlet Fever is not treated. It is a severe illness that usually affects children between the ages of 6 and 15. It also happens to older children and adults.


Symptoms of rheumatic Fever can last for a long time. Rheumatic Fever can cause long-term complications in some situations.

The cause of rheumatic Fever is heart disease such as heart disease occur.

Aortic valve stenosis: The heart has a narrowing of the aortic valve.

Aortic regurgitation: This is a leak in the aortic valve that leads the blood in the wrong direction.

Damage to the heart muscles. 

Atrial fibrillation: This causes irregular heartbeat in the upper part of the heart.

Heart failure: When the heart cannot pump blood to body parts for some time.

If left untreated, it can have side effects.

  • Stroke
  • Permanent damage to your heart
  • Death


Before your child’s doctor examines your child’s symptoms, take a physical exam

  • Will look for spots or skin nodules.
  • The heart will check for abnormalities
  • Will test movement to determine their nervous system dysfunction
  • Will examine their joints for inflammation
  • Examine their throats and sometimes blood for evidence of strep bacteria
  • Electrocardiogram, which measures their heartbeat.
  • Echocardiogram, which works sound waves to imagine of their heart.

We understand how a headache, body aches, or fever can put a damper on your day. So it’s time to check out your fever with a suggested forehead thermometer. That also pairs with Smartphone to track your health. Find the link here…

Kinsa QuickScan

Non-Contact Smart Forehead Thermometer

Pairs with Smartphone to Track Family Health & Get Illness Guidance


Treatment rheumatic fever

Medical management

If the patient has a throat infection or a fever that is more than 101 degrees for two-three days, take him to the doctor immediately.

If one patient has such an infection in the house, keep it away from other children. Otherwise, he may also have such a problem.

This problem reduces in a few weeks to months, but it is essential to keep in mind that it does not harm the baby’s heart because it is impossible to compensate.

Doctors give antibiotics for its treatment, but do not try to give such medicine to your child with your mind.

Doctors also recommend giving steroids if the condition is more serious.

Create a temperature chart for the patient. After every two hours, check his body temperature with a thermometer and record it in the chart.

Do not leave treatment incomplete. Give all medicines to the patient at the given time. If the condition is severe, then the patient needs to be given medicines for months.

Surgical management:

Valve surgery to replace damaged heart.

To open the stuck valves through the insertion of ballons.


Rheumatic Fever is an inflammatory disease that occurs when strep throat or scarlet Fever is not appropriately treated. Infection with Streptococcus bacteria can lead to strep throat and Scarlet Fever.

Here are couple of articles, which you should definitely read to learn more about it.

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