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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

What is Acute Rheumatic Fever?

Acute rheumatic fever is an illness caused by an autoimmune response to a bacterial infection with group A streptococcus, commonly called the strep bacteria.

What is Rheumatic Heart Disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is chronic damage to the valves in the heart caused by repeated cases of acute rheumatic fever. This can be prevented.

How is it Prevented?

The prevention of rheumatic heart disease can be implemented at different stages. This includes Primordial, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary prevention.

How is it Diagnosed & Treated?

There is currently no single test to diagnose acute rheumatic fever. Diagnosis is a doctor’s decision based on clinical assessment of signs and symptoms.

For Individuals & Families

Remember:

Don’t ignore a sore throat

Go to the clinic. Treating a sore throat stops the strep germ and can prevent ARF

Remember:

Keep fit and active

Being overweight and inactive can cause further stress on the heart so it is good to kee

Remember:

Don’t miss your injections

If you have had rheumatic fever you must have regular penicillin injections to stop RHD

Remember:

Do not smoke

Because rheumatic fever can affect the heart it is important not to add further stress

Remember:

Brush your teeth

Brush teeth every morning and every evening.

Symptoms to look out for

Sore throat

Sore throat can lead to acute rheumatic fever

Subcutaneous nodules

Round, firm and painless lumps around joints

Skin sores

Skin sores can let the strep germ into the body

Sore or swollen joints

Including knees, ankles, elbows and wrists

Mary's Story

My name is Aunty Mary.  My nephew Michael is 10 years old.  Last year he got sick with rheumatic heart disease.  I want to tell you a story about rheumatic heart disease, and how this has affected my family. I want everybody to know my family’s story, so we can stop our kids getting sick hearts, and stop rheumatic heart disease in our people... Read on

Patrick Wasiu, RHD Advocate

Patrick Wasiu

Patrick was kind enough to open up and talk to us about the difficulties he faced because of RHD and how, through this adversity....Read on

What if I'm pregnant?

Rheumatic heart disease is up to twice as common in women, and this is women of child bearing years. There is a 30-50% increased cardiac workload in normal pregnancy..... Read On

For Health Professionals & Researchers

Download the App

Guidelines & Diagnosis Calculator

ARF RHD Guideline

E-learning

Research

The END RHD CRE is the first time that any country has had an opportunity to build a comprehensive, evidence based strategy for ending rheumatic...

ATLAS

The Global Atlas of Rheumatic Heart Disease provides a new way to view the global distribution of RHD burden & as well as programs and...

Burden of the Disease

Acute rheumatic fever remains the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children around the world . Rates of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of Northern and Central Australia are some of the highest in the world this many more words will make it even...Read on

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RHD Control Programs

A coordinated control program is the most effective approach in improving adherence to secondary prophylaxis of ARF...Read on

Dr Kirsten Due

Latest News

E-learning modules help doctor prepare for life in remote communities

Most health professionals do what they do because of an intrinsic desire to provide compassionate and professional care to those in need.... Read on

Latest News

Translating research into action: RHD in Pregnancy

For women with rheumatic heart disease (RHD), pregnancy requires special care and consideration. RHD is up to twice as common in women and... Read on

Latest News

Full house for South Australia RHD Education Workshop

“I had a fantastic time; I wish it didn’t have to end!” “Lots of great information; wish it would have gone on for a week.” The South... Read on

ARF Diagnosis Calculator on iPad

Latest News

How this one app is making a world of difference

“I recall one patient who presented with some symptoms of ARF, but not enough to make a definitive diagnosis. A couple of days later, while... Read on

Dr Bo Remenyi

Latest News

International conference on RHD: experts debate prevention strategies

Dr Bo Remenyi is a paediatric cardiologist in the NT. She treats around 90 children with rheumatic heart disease (RHD), all of whom are... Read on

Data Collection System

The data collection system is a central repository for the collection and reporting of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) data...