Infection of the heart valves.
About 1 in 25,000 incidence rate.
There are two main types:
- Acute - usually caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis, comes on over a few days/weeks.
- Subacute - usually caused by Streptococcus viridans, and comes on over weeks.
- Prosthetic heart valve.
- Recent dental work.
- Injecting drugs - can lead to staph infection from skin.
- Previous rheumatic fever - can cause damage to valves, making it easier for bacteria to stick on.
There are others, specially anything causing heart shape problems, weird murmurs or valve damage.
The two things that should ring alarm bells are below. If you get them, move onto treatment:
Other things that can happen include
- Tiredness - this occurs in about 90% of patients!
- New rashes, joint pain, and other signs of systemic infection.
Generally benzylpenicillin/vancomycin + gentamicin. This depends on the microbiology.
Mortality rate of about 50%. NOT GOOD!