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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

The latest figures for acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia, a snapshot.

Prepared by Sara Noonan  RHDAustralia acknowledges that the figures presented in this article are not just numbers on the page but... Read on

Clinical Update – Changes to recommended management of borderline RHD in Australia

By Sara Noonan Borderline RHD Borderline RHD is defined as echocardiographic features which are abnormal but do not fulfil criteria for the... Read on

An Australian effort to accelerate a Strep A vaccine candidate into clinical trials in Australia.

By Alma Fulurija, Project Lead for the Australian Strep A Vaccine Initiative (ASAVI). Group A streptococcus (Strep A) is among the... Read on