Haverhill fever

What is Haverhill Fever?

Haverhill fever is a rare and potential life-threatening infection caused by group A streptococcal bacteria, also known as Streptococcus pyogenes. It is most common in children in their early childhood, and has an incubation period of 10-14 days. Symptoms include sore and swollen shoulders, neck, and head, as well as aching joints, fatigue, fever, nausea, loss of taste and smell, and in severe cases, multiple organ failure. Vaccinations are available to help prevent Haverhill fever, but treatment is required for those already infected.

Signs and Symptoms of Haverhill Fever

Haverhill fever can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Sore and swollen shoulders, neck, and head
  • Aching joints
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Loss/distortion of taste and smell
  • Multiple organ failure (in severe cases)

Diagnosis and Treatment

Haverhill fever can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms are often similar to other diseases. If it is suspected, a doctor may take a throat swab or take a blood sample for testing. Treatment includes antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and possibly oxygen and supportive care if the infection is severe. Recovery time can vary, but most people with Haverhill fever recover completely.


The best way to prevent Haverhill fever is to get vaccinated. There is a vaccine that is available through most doctors or in public health clinics.