Guam – The Department of Public Health says they’ve seen an increase in reported cases of Strep Throat, but Rheumatic Fever they say has not been reported on a regular basis and as a result they say they don’t known how many cases of Rheumatic Fever have occurred on Guam recently.
But 7th Day Adventist Pediatrician Dr. Lee Meadows says he has been keeping track and he is raising the alarm.
Dr. Meadows says he is aware of 24 cases on Guam in the past 4 months and, he says, 1 death. Rheumatic fever, he says, poses a more serious threat than wooping-cough because it can cause permanent damage to the heart.
It begins with strep throat and, in defending the body against certain strains of strep throat, the immune system mistakenly attacks and weakens the heart muscle.
Dr. Meadows says the first signs of the disease are a high fever accompanied by sever joint pain which occurs several weeks after the strep throat is gone.
Rheumatic fever itself is not contagious, but strep throat is contagious and Dr. Meadows is urging parents whose children have strep throat to see their doctor.
If treated early, rheumatic fever is 100% curable.