A resurgence of rheumatic fever. New causes or old attitudes?.

M J Brito, I Afonso, H Flores, S Pinto, A J Macedo, L Trindade, O Freitas, T Almeida, A Cruz, G G Costa


Bearing in mind that in the last years there has been an increase in rheumatic fever episodes, the authors evaluate the cases recently observed in the department. The data of 3 children born and living in Portugal, the first known outbreak of rheumatic fever observed between June 93 and March 94, were examined. One case presented polyarthritis, another polyarthritis and carditis and the third chorea and carditis. In just one case was the diagnosis of rheumatic fever considered in the beginning, and over-all, failures in the diagnosis and treatment of tonsillitis, and in echocardiographic diagnosis were detected. In view of these examples, the authors conclude that the increasing incidence and morbidity of rheumatic fever is more probably due to forgetfulness of old attitudes than to new causes. Delay in the diagnosis and errors in secondary prophylaxis may influence long term results.

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