|The prevention of rheumatic heart disease may be undertaken at a number of different levels. Primordial and primary prevention aim to stop a disease occurring in the first place, while secondary and tertiary prevention aim to limit the progression and reduce the consequences of established disease.|
Prevention in the context of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease:
Primordial prevention – broad social, economic and environmental initiatives undertaken to prevent or limit the impact of Group A streptococcus infection in a population.
Primary prevention – reducing Group A streptococcus transmission, acquisition, colonisation and carriage or treating Group A streptococcus infection effectively to prevent the development of acute rheumatic fever in individuals.
Secondary prevention – administering regular prophylactic antibiotics to individuals who have already had an episode of acute rheumatic fever to prevent the development of rheumatic heart disease or who have established rheumatic heart disease in order to prevent progression of disease.
Tertiary prevention –intervention in individuals with rheumatic heart disease to reduce symptoms and disability and prevent premature death.