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Re: Rheumatic fever

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on August 26, 1998 at 14:48:17:

In Reply to: Rheumatic fever posted by Elizabeth on August 26, 1998 at 10:08:51:

Could someone have had Rheumatic fever as a kid and not know it?
I have a heart murmur and regurgitation in my Mitral and Tricuspid valves.
I had recurring sore throat as a kid and was diagnosed with tonsilitis over and over.
It was rare for my doc to give me a strep test.  He would say "tonsilitis agian"  and give
me an antibiotic.  Sometimes he would say "probably strep" and give me an antibiotic.
I've read that Rheumatic fever is caused by strep.  I found out about my murmur
in Jr. High School.  Could bouts with strep have caused my murmur and damage to my valves?
Dear Elizabeth,
While it is possible you had rheumatic fever it is unlikely.  Rheumtic fever occurs with untreated strep infections.  It sounds as if you, like the majority of the American population, got antibiotics whenever you had tonsilitis.  In fact, most sore throats are due to viral causes and the presence of strep on a test does not necessarily mean a strep infection.  Many doctors however will treat all throat infections with antibiotics just to prevent rheumatic fever.  Hope this answers your question.  Feel free to write back with any additional questions.
Information presented here is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to replace your doctor's advice.  If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic please call 1-800-CCF-CARE to make an appointment.

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