by Marcin Gornsiewicz, M.D.
A 7 year old becomes ill with fever and complains of joint pain in a knee. After a day or so, the knee gets better, but now the pain is in the ankle. The next day, the ankle is better, but now the elbow hurts. A pink rash appears on the legs. Several hours later it is gone, but returns the following morning. The fever persists. Her parent notices that the child is short of breath, and makes an appointment with the doctor. What could be wrong? After an examination and laboratory testing, the diagnosis becomes clear. This child has acute rheumatic fever (ARF), an inflammatory disease occurring after an untreated strep throat 3 weeks earlier. Read more →