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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 group A streptococcal infection, which is also called a Strep A infection.

What is rheumatic heart disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is damage to the valves in the heart that develops after acute rheumatic fever.

How is it diagnosed & treated?

Diagnosis of both acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease require an assessment of symptoms and clinical testing. Treatment involves regular antibiotics and medical care.

How is it prevented?

There are several opportunities to prevent illness and slow disease progression: improving environmental conditions, treating Strep A infections, preventing recurrent acute rheumatic fever, and avoiding complications of rheumatic heart disease.

The Champions4Change motto is ‘inspiring, caring and sharing’. Inspiring others to take charge and make a difference, caring for others with ARF and RHD, and sharing ideas and stories, especially from those who have the experience of living with this disease.

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

Increase in Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) in East Arnhem region prompts heightened awareness for recognising signs and symptoms of ARF

Health Alert

Health Alert - 2.9.2021 Increase in Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) in East Arnhem region prompts heightened awareness for recognising signs... Read on

Latest ATAGI mRNA vaccine advice: guidance for people with RHD

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) statement released on 30th July 2021 describes the very low risk of... Read on

TERTIARY PREVENTION OF RHD COMPLICATIONS and Principles of RHD management

Clinical update - tertiary prevention of RHD complications

TERTIARY PREVENTION OF RHD COMPLICATIONS The 2020 Australian guideline for prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever... Read on