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Most people with endocarditis have symptoms that begin within 2 weeks after becoming infected. Vague, flu-like symptoms, such as a low-grade fever and fatigue, often occur first. But infection with a powerful strain of bacteria may cause symptoms to be more severe (such as a high fever) and to appear much faster, within a few days. If symptoms persist, see your doctor, especially if you are at a high risk for endocarditis.
If you have certain heart conditions, getting endocarditis is even more dangerous for you. These heart conditions include:
Other risk factors (things that raise your risk) for endocarditis include:
Your doctor can tell you whether you are at increased risk for endocarditis. Before you have any medical, dental, or surgical procedures, tell all other health professionals who may treat you that you are at risk for endocarditis. Your doctor can give you a card to carry in your wallet stating that you may need preventive antibiotics before having certain procedures.
You will likely have symptoms if you have a complication of endocarditis. Complications may include:
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