The nurse is developing a teaching plan for the parents of a child recovering from a streptococcal infection. What information should the nurse include about preventing rheumatic fever?


• In 95% of children with acute rheumatic fever, there was a recent streptococcal infection, noted by an elevation of one or more anti-streptococcal antibodies.

• The recommendation is to treat all streptococcal throat infections with antibiotics to prevent rheumatic fever.

• Antibiotic prophylaxis before dental work is recommended only for patients with a history of rheumatic valve disease, to prevent further episodes of RF. This child has not had rheumatic heart disease, only a streptococcal infection.

• Ibuprofen or corticosteroids are prescribed to reduce inflammation and joint pain, but these will not prevent rheumatic fever.

• A course of antibiotics, not antivirals, should be given to a child with strep throat, impetigo, and tonsillitis to prevent rheumatic fever.

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