Serious infections of the heart have nothing to do with being lovesick. Although endocarditis and Rheumatic fever are relatively rare, they do require prompt medical attention. Pay attention to symptoms like fever, fatigue, weight loss, painful or inflamed joints, blood in the urine, or tiny spots on your skin. These infections can be treated if you detect them fast enough.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about preventing endocarditis and rheumatic fever. Here's a preview:

  • Preventing EndocarditisEndocarditis arises when bacteria or fungi enter your bloodstream and reach your heart valves, infecting the endocardium, the inner lining of your heart. Surgeries, tattoos, or even simple procedures like dental work can place you at risk for endocarditis. Initial symptoms include fever and fatigue, followed by weight loss, night sweats, painful joints, shortness of breath, persistent coughs, blood in the urine, and tiny purple or red spots on the skin called petechiae. Endocarditis is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery. If ignored, it can kill you. In this section, we'll outline the best ways to prevent endocarditis.
  • Preventing Rheumatic FeverA strep throat, inflamed tonsils, fever, headache, or aching muscles are all early symptoms of rheumatic fever, an infection from group A Streptococcus bacteria. As your body fights the bacteria infection, the heart or other body parts -- including the joints, nervous system, and skin -- become inflamed. This can lead to heart valve damage, heart failure, or endocarditis. Rheumatic fever is treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Learn more about rheumatic fever on this page.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.