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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 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.

How is it Prevented?

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

RHDAustralia since 2009

Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia is an initiative of Menzies School of Health Research and is funded by the Commonwealth Government. Since 2009, RHDAustralia has been working with health professionals and alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and other at risk populations, to reduce acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia.

Symptoms to look out for

Sore throat

Sore throat can lead to acute rheumatic fever

Symptoms to look out for

Subcutaneous nodules

Round, firm and painless lumps around joints

Symptoms to look out for

Skin sores

Skin sores can let the strep germ into the body

Symptoms to look out for

Sore or swollen joints

Including knees, ankles, elbows and wrists

Latest news

Sore throat algorithm - The 2020 Australian guideline for prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (3rd edition) contains clinical information based on national and international best practice

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Meet Terrence Guyula: Terrence is a clinician, community Elder and advocate for men’s health who has been working as an Aboriginal Health Practitioner in the remote Top End of the Northern Territory for over 32 years.

Terrence Guyula - Aboriginal Health in Aboriginal Hands

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