In recent years, rheumatic fever has been declining in the industrialized countries, and has became a rare disease. In developing areas, nonetheless, the sequels of its cardiac involvement have important implications from the stance of public health, and this disease is still the main cause of heart disease in children and young adults. From a historical perspective, the long-term prevention and the control of socioeconomic problems have been proven to be effective, and it is these measures which have contributed to the decline of the disease in developed countries. But, due to its present high prevalence around the world, and the potential for his resurgence, this disease remains an unsolved problem. Furthermore, the complete understanding of its pathophysiology remains a challenge. In this presentation, we will discuss our experience with epidemiological, clinical and prophylatic aspects of this enigmatic disease, and the strategies we have developed to study and control heumatic fever in Minas Gerais, Brazil.