How Does Rheumatic Fever Affect the Heart?

When Rheumatic Fever causes damage to the valves of the heart, this is called Rheumatic Heart Disease.

A heart valve acts like a one-way door. It makes sure that blood pumped by the heart flows in one direction only. When the heart valve is damaged, the heart cannot pump properly. This can cause breathlessness, tiredness and chest pain.

Each time a person gets Rheumatic Fever, the risk of damage to their heart increases. If their heart valve is damaged from an earlier attack, then the damage may get worse with subsequent attacks.