Disease Research Paper:  Rheumatic Fever

Disease Research Paper:  Rheumatic Fever

 

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Abstract

This paper provides an overview of rheumatic fever, including its history, cause, symptoms, and treatment. Rheumatic fever is a serious disease that can lead to complications such as heart failure and cardiomyopathy. The disease is caused by streptococcus bacteria, and it is most commonly seen in children between the ages of five and fifteen. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. There is no cure for rheumatic fever, but it can be prevented with early treatment of streptococcus infections. In addition, good hygiene practices can help to reduce the spread of bacteria. When streptococcus infections are treated early, the incidence of rheumatic fever can be reduced greatly.

 

Introduction

Rheumatic fever is a serious complication that can occur after a streptococcal infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. Although it most often affects children between the ages of 5 and 15, it can occur at any age. Rheumatic fever can lead to permanent damage to the heart, valves, and joints. It can also cause a stroke. According to the World Health Organization, rheumatic fever affects about 1.5 million people each year and is responsible for about 155,000 deaths annually, most of them in developing countries (1, p. 3). This number is attributed to the fact that the disease is often undiagnosed or undertreated. In this context, this paper will provide an overview of rheumatic fever, including its history, causative agent, pathogenesis, epidemiology, and treatment.

Method

The method used in this paper is a literature review of the available medical literature on rheumatic fever. The study was conducted through various databases. One such database is Archway Library, which is the largest online health sciences library in the world that provides access to full-text articles from over 8,500 peer-reviewed journals. In addition, a comprehensive search of the PubMed database was conducted, and relevant articles were selected for inclusion. In addition, Google Scholar was searched for gray literature and other relevant sources. The search included keywords such as “rheumatic fever,” “streptococcal infection,” and “pathogenesis.” The references of the selected articles were reviewed for additional sources of information.

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The Results and Discussion

History of Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever has been known by many different names throughout history, including St. Anthony’s fire, rheumatic gout, and chorea minor (2, p. 468). The first documented case of the disease was in 14th-century England, where it was referred to as “the English sweat” (3, p. 972). In the 16th century, the French physician François Broussais coined the term “rheumatism” to describe a group of diseases characterized by joint pain. It was not until the 19th century that rheumatic fever was recognized as a distinct entity (4, p. 533). The first detailed description of the disease was by the English physician William Osler in 1869. In his seminal work, The Principles and Practice of Medicine, Osler provided a clinical description of the disease and proposed that it was caused by an infection with streptococcus bacteria. Osler’s theory was supported by the work of another English physician, Sir William Gull, who described a similar group of patients in 1871. Gull’s work was further expanded upon by the German physician Adolf Lorenz, who described the clinical features of rheumatic fever in detail in 1883 (5, p. 17).

The early 20th century saw a number of important discoveries related to rheumatic fever. In 1904, the German physician Paul Ehrlich showed that the streptococcus bacteria could be killed with chemicals, paving the way for the development of antibiotics. In 1915, the American physician George F. Dick reported that patients with rheumatic fever often had a characteristic rash called erythema marginatum. And in 1921, the English physician Sir Thomas Lewis described a type of heart damage caused by rheumatic fever known as conduction blocks (6, p. 94). The last half of the 20th century was marked by a decline in the incidence of rheumatic fever due to the availability of antibiotics and improved living conditions

Causative agent

Rheumatic fever is caused by an infection with streptococcus bacteria. These bacteria are found in the throat and on the skin. They can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or sharing contaminated items such as utensils or towels. The streptococcus bacteria can also live in food, such as raw meat or unpasteurized dairy products. Infection with the streptococcus bacteria usually occurs through contact with contaminated surfaces or by eating contaminated food (7, p. 22). Significantly, the streptococcus bacteria are classified into two types: Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus agalactiae. Streptococcus pyogenes is the most common type of streptococcus bacteria and is responsible for most cases of rheumatic fever. This type of bacteria is also responsible for other diseases, such as strep throat and scarlet fever. Streptococcus agalactiae is less common, but can still cause rheumatic fever in some cases (7, p. 24). It is important to note that not all infections with streptococcus bacteria lead to rheumatic fever. In fact, most streptococcus infections are relatively harmless and cause no more than a sore throat. It is only when the infection spreads to the heart or other parts of the body that it can cause serious damage.

Pathogenesis

Rheumatic fever usually occurs two to three weeks after an infection with streptococcus bacteria. The infection usually starts with a sore throat, which is followed by fever, nausea, vomiting, and headache. In some cases, the patient may also develop a rash called erythema marginatum (8, p. 224). As the disease progresses, the patient may experience joint pain and swelling, as well as shortness of breath and chest pain. The joint pain and swelling are caused by inflammation of the joints, which is known as arthritis. Chest pain is caused by inflammation of the lining of the heart, which is known as pericarditis. In severe cases, the patient may develop heart failure or a condition called cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged. Moreover, the patient may also experience neurological problems such as seizures or hallucinations. This is due to the fact that the streptococcus bacteria can cause inflammation of the brain, a condition known as encephalitis (8, p. 226).

Pathogenesis of Acute Rheumatic Fever

(13, p. 24)

Epidemiology

Rheumatic fever is most common in children between the ages of five and fifteen. However, it can occur at any age. The disease is more common in developing countries than in developed countries. This is likely due to the fact that streptococcus infections are more common in developing countries. In addition, living conditions in developing countries are often poor, which makes it easier for the bacteria to spread. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of rheumatic fever is highest in Africa and lowest in Europe (9, p. 151).

Treatment and control

There are several different treatments for rheumatic fever. The most common treatment is penicillin, which is an antibiotic. Penicillin is a drug that kills bacteria. It is usually given as an injection or a tablet. In this case, Penicillin helps to kill the streptococcus bacteria that is causing the infection. Penicillin is usually given for 10 days (10, p. 245). Other antibiotics that may be used include erythromycin and azithromycin. Erythromycin is a drug that is also used to kill bacteria. It is usually given as a tablet and is taken four times a day. Azithromycin is a drug that is also used to kill bacteria. It is usually given as a tablet and is taken once a day. In some cases, the patient may also be given corticosteroids to reduce inflammation (11 p. 264). Corticosteroids are a class of drugs used to treat inflammation. Examples include hydrocortisone, betamethasone, and prednisone. They are often used to treat conditions such as allergies, asthma, and arthritis. In the case of rheumatic fever, they are used to reduce inflammation of the joints and heart. Corticosteroids are usually given as an injection or a tablet. In addition, the patient may be given aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and swelling (11 p. 267). In severe cases, the patient may need to be hospitalized. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.

 

Prevention of rheumatic fever

(14, p. 310)

Primarily, there is no cure for rheumatic fever, but it can be prevented with early treatment of streptococcus infections. The best way to prevent rheumatic fever is to avoid infection with streptococcus bacteria. This can be done by ensuring that all cuts and wounds are cleaned and covered. In addition, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly (12 p. 13). For instance, it is important to wash your hands regularly and to avoid sharing personal items such as towels or toothbrushes. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria. Finally, it is important to seek treatment early for streptococcus infections. Early treatment will help to prevent the development of rheumatic fever (12, p. 64). Moreover, it is important to get vaccinated against streptococcus bacteria. The vaccine is known as the pneumococcal vaccine. It is given as an injection and is usually given to children under the age of five.

Conclusion

This paper has provided an overview of rheumatic fever, including its history, cause, symptoms, and treatment. Rheumatic fever is a serious disease that can lead to complications such as heart failure and cardiomyopathy. The disease can be traced back to the time of Hippocrates, and it remains a problem in developing countries today. It is caused by streptococcus bacteria, and it is most commonly seen in children between the ages of five and fifteen. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. There is no cure for rheumatic fever, but it can be prevented with early treatment of streptococcus infections. In addition, good hygiene practices can help to reduce the spread of bacteria. When streptococcus infections are treated early, the incidence of rheumatic fever can be reduced greatly.

 

 

Bibliography

  1. Noubiap, J. J., Agbor, V. N., Bigna, J. J., Kaze, A. D., Nyaga, U. F., & Mayosi, B. M. (2019). Prevalence and progression of rheumatic heart disease: a global systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based echocardiographic studies. Scientific reports9(1), 1-14.
  2. Hunt T. 2017. The Medical Interest of Old French Miracle Narratives. Romance Philology 71:467–498.
  3. Kiple, K. F. (Ed.). (1993). The Cambridge World History of Human Disease. Cambridge University Press. 970-977. https://doi.org/10.1017/chol9780521332866
  4. Walusinski, O. (2020). Armand Trousseau (1801–1867), a neurologist before neurology. Revue Neurologique176(7-8), 531-542.
  5. Vale TC, Cardoso F. 2015. Chorea: A Journey through History. Tremor and other hyperkinetic movements (New York, NY) 5: tre-5-296.
  6. Gaston, J. S. H., & Gaston, J. S. H. (Eds.). (1999). Rheumatic diseases: Immunological mechanisms and prospects for new therapies. Cambridge University Press.
  7. Carapetis, J. R., Beaton, A., Cunningham, M. W., Guilherme, L., Karthikeyan, G., Mayosi, B. M., … & Zühlke, L. (2016). Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Nature reviews Disease primers2(1), 1-24.
  8. Lahiri S, Sanyahumbi A. 2021. Acute Rheumatic Fever. Pediatrics in Review 42:221–232.
  9. Ismail, P., Sobur, C. S., & Olivia, C. (2019). Recurrent Rheumatic Fever. Indonesian Journal of Rheumatology, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.37275/ijr.v11i2.103
  10. Kumar, A. B., & Umashankar, M. S. 2020. Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Cardiovascular Disease Complications: A Textbook for Medical Students. Bentham Science Publishers. 242 – 361.
  11. Adu, D., Emery, P., & Madaio, M. (2012). Rheumatology and the Kidney. In Google Books (2nd ed., pp. 263–466). OUP Oxford.
  12. Siegel, P., Tencza, M., Apodaca, B., & Poole, J. L. (2017). Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. The American journal of occupational therapy71(1), 7101180050p1-7101180050p11.
  13. Arvind, B., & Ramakrishnan, S. (2020). Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease in Children. Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 87(4), 305–311. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-019-03128-7
  14. Guilherme, L., Steer, A. C., & Cunningham, M. (2021, January 1). Chapter 2 – Pathogenesis of Acute Rheumatic Fever (S. Dougherty, J. Carapetis, L. Zühlke, & N. Wilson, Eds.). ScienceDirect; Elsevier. 19-30. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323639828000027

 

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Disease Research Paper: This research paper will be a literature review done in scientific report format. You are required to include the topics of (but are not limited to): Introduction to, and history of, the chosen disease; the distinctive properties of the agent causing the disease, pathogenesis; epidemiology; and treatment and control of the disease. Failure to include these topics will result in a 10% deduction per section from the final grade. The length of this paper is not critical, although the minimum assignment is 1500 words (approximately five pages). The standard for research paper formats is to have double-spaced typing with one-inch margins and 12 point in Arial, Courier, Calibri, or Times New Roman font. There must be at least 10 different references cited, with at least five of these coming from peer-reviewed academic sources. Citations will be done in the format of the Clinical Journal of Microbiology. Information from references must be paraphrased. The draft must include both text and reference page, and be at least 1500 words in length.  References must be cited within the text, and the text must be paraphrased.

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