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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.

Sore throat

Symptoms to look out for

Sore throat

Sore throat can lead to acute rheumatic fever

Subcutaneous nodules

Symptoms to look out for

Subcutaneous nodules

Round, firm and painless lumps around joints

Skin sores

Symptoms to look out for

Skin sores

Skin sores can let the strep germ into the body

Sore or swollen joints

Symptoms to look out for

Sore or swollen joints

Including knees, ankles, elbows and wrists

Latest news

Across Australia, more than 5,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are currently living with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) or its precursor, acute rheumatic fever (ARF).

Rheumatic Heart Disease Endgame Strategy: what does it mean to community?

Originally published on the Telethon Kids Institute website. Across Australia, more than 5,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people... Read on

Liana’s story begins nine years ago. It starts with a sore ankle, a fever, a trip to the emergency room and clinic and finally a diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever (ARF)

Margaret and Liana - Lived Experience

  Liana’s story begins nine years ago. It starts with a sore ankle, a fever, a trip to the emergency room and clinic and finally a... Read on

In early November 2021, Apunipima partnered with the Napranum PCYC for a Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) movie night to launch a series of community videos

Apunipima community partnership drives RHD awareness videos

In early November 2021, Apunipima partnered with the Napranum PCYC for a Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) movie night to launch a series of... Read on