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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 Prevented?

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

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.

For Individuals & Families

Remember:

Don’t ignore a sore throat

Go to the clinic. Treating a sore throat stops the strep germ and can prevent ARF

Remember:

Keep fit and active

Being overweight and inactive can cause further stress on the heart so it is good to kee

Remember:

Don’t miss your injections

If you have had rheumatic fever you must have regular penicillin injections to stop RHD

Remember:

Do not smoke

Because rheumatic fever can affect the heart it is important not to add further stress

Remember:

Brush your teeth

Brush teeth every morning and every evening.

Symptoms to look out for

Sore throat

Sore throat can lead to acute rheumatic fever

Subcutaneous nodules

Round, firm and painless lumps around joints

Skin sores

Skin sores can let the strep germ into the body

Sore or swollen joints

Including knees, ankles, elbows and wrists

Mary's Story

My name is Aunty Mary.  My nephew Michael is 10 years old.  Last year he got sick with rheumatic heart disease.  I want to tell you a story about rheumatic heart disease, and how this has affected my family. I want everybody to know my family’s story, so we can stop our kids getting sick hearts, and stop rheumatic heart disease in our people... Read on

Advocate Mum brings life experiences to help develop RHD film

Advocate Mum brings life experiences to help develop film

Raychelle McKenzie was just nine years old when she was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease (RHD)........Read on

RHD in pregnancy

Caring for women with RHD in pregnancy

Rheumatic heart disease is up to twice as common in women, and this is women of child bearing years. There is a 30-50% increased cardiac workload in normal pregnancy..... Read On

For Health Professionals & Researchers

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ARF RHD Guideline

E-learning

Research

The END RHD CRE is the first time that any country has had an opportunity to build a comprehensive, evidence based strategy for ending rheumatic...

ATLAS

The Global Atlas of Rheumatic Heart Disease provides a new way to view the global distribution of RHD burden & as well as programs and...

Burden of the Disease

Acute rheumatic fever remains the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children around the world . Rates of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of Northern and Central Australia are some of the highest in the world this many more words will make it even...Read on

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@RHDAustralia

RT : Australian of the Year Awards: Cardiologist fighting the scourge of rheumatic heart disease in the NT takes out top… https://t.co/Di3WeaFmup

22 hours 34 min

RT : Coming up next on with Dr Ben Costello taking about a new trail looking at early d… https://t.co/GhkWlb9uBH

22 hours 35 min

RT : RT: HeartAust RT ausoftheyear: A pioneering cardiologist and leader in Rheumatic Heart Disease treatment, Dr Bo Rem… https://t.co/5V2y7PVzL0

22 hours 37 min

RT : But wait there's more....Bettina Danganbarr (Gotha's daughter!) also won the 2018 NT 'Local Hero' Australian of the… https://t.co/geBPgP4Czw

22 hours 39 min

RHD Control Programs

A coordinated control program is the most effective approach in improving adherence to secondary prophylaxis of ARF...Read on

RHDAustralia Programs Page

Latest News

Playing a role in the prevention of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Article courtesy of the National Rural Health Alliance Partyline magazine, Issue 60, September 2017. Read more at the National Rural Health... Read on

Alice Mitchell research around rheumatic heart disease

Latest News

“That Heart Sickness”

How (mis)communication in the health system is impacting people living with rheumatic heart disease “One of the things I found in my... Read on

ARF and RHD Self Management model

Latest News

What does a culturally competent model of self-management look like?

Aboriginal culture is central to health. It is value based, built on social roles, cultural obligations and responsibilities which differs... Read on

RHD in pregnancy photo

Latest News

Translating research: how do women understand RHD in Pregnancy?

The Australian Maternity Outcomes Surveillance System (AMOSS) RHD in Pregnancy study has shown that for Indigenous women in Australia,... Read on

Latest News

Sharing a Heartbeat: love, pregnancy, and living with rheumatic heart disease

A new film written and directed by a group of Northern Territory Indigenous women follows the story of Tess, a young women whose boyfriend... Read on

Data Collection System

The data collection system is a central repository for the collection and reporting of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) data...