acute swelling and pain associated with fever and affecting one or more joints causing stiffness. In most cases, inflammation also affects the heart. This may lead to cardiac complications later in life.
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory reaction of the heart, usually involving the valves as a consequence of streptococcal infection.
Disease involving inflammation of joints and damage to heart valves that follows streptococcal infection and is believed to be autoimmune, ie. antibodies to streptococcal components cross react with host tissue antigens.