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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

Australian researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia have conducted a study that has shown significant potential for transforming the delivery of penicillin injections for people living with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

Transforming the delivery of penicillin injections

Australian researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia have conducted a study... Read on

Tackling the root cause of RHD

If Australia wants to get serious about tackling the root causes of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, there are some... Read on

Artwork that reflects the lived experience of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease is being displayed at various sites across Queensland in 2020-2021.

Queensland HeART Project

Artwork that reflects the lived experience of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease is being displayed at various sites across... Read on