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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

Look for symptoms in children

Remember:

Look out for children

Children aged between 5 and 14 are most likely to get rheumatic fever

Remember:

Get regular check-ups

Stay up to date with check-ups at your local health clinic and with the dentist.

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 sores clean and covered

Keep sores clean and covered to stop strep and other germs entering the body

Remember:

Wash hands and face often

Washing your hands and face will wash away the strep and other germs

Symptoms to look out for

Subcutaneous nodules

Round, firm and painless lumps around joints

Skin sores

Skin sores can let the strep germ into the body

Difficulty walking

This can indicate Sydenham’s Chorea

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

Nelson's Story

23-year-old Nelson Baker is an Indigenous artist who has a turned his experience of living with the rheumatic heart disease into a powerful message for other young Australians....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

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Guidelines & Diagnosis Calculator

ARF RHD Guideline

E-learning & Discussion Forum

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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RT : "Forgotten but not Gone. Why does a 'Third World' disease still exist in Australia?"… https://t.co/GGZVVhGsWj

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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

Rheumatic Heart Disease Workshop in Darwin

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NT 2016 Workshop – Preview

Patient Stories Day 1 - Eddie Masina “My Story” Time: 10:00 – 10:20 At 12 years old Eddie had his first open heart surgery At 16 Eddie had... Read on

Latest News

Milestone for surveillance of rheumatic heart disease

On 30th June 2016, a significant milestone was met with the submission to the Commonwealth Department of Health of the first report... Read on

Latest News

Year 12 project making a difference - Tiwi Islander raises awareness about RHD

Tiwi Islander and year 12 student Trish Tipiloura has been raising awareness about rheumatic heart disease (RHD) on the Tiwi Islands. “... Read on

State of the art heart equipment arrives for NT kids

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State of the art heart equipment arrives for NT kids

Northern Territory children requiring a heart scan will now benefit from one of the best ultrasound heart machines available in the world,... Read on

NT cardiologist Dr Remenyi meets with world leaders in cardiology

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NT cardiologist Dr Remenyi meets with world leaders in cardiology

Northern Territory paediatric cardiologist Dr. Bo Remenyi has just returned from the prestigious International Society of Cardiovascular... 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...