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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

Jamayah Mooney - Young RHD role model

Young role model gives 100% to get 100%

At 14 years old, Jamayah Mooney is 6 years into a ten year treatment plan to ensure she doesn’t have a recurrence of acute rheumatic fever (ARF).......Read on

RHD in pregnancy

What if I'm pregnant?

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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Guidelines & Diagnosis Calculator

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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RHD Control Programs

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

NSW Framework for acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Latest News

NSW framework for ARF and RHD released

"It's (acute rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease) taken such a toll on my family when it could've been prevented".  This was a... Read on

Taryn Dukes  - Looma community engagement supports RHD patients

Latest News

Innovation in remote WA community improves skin health for local Indigenous children

A collaborative community approach to improving skin health in the remote Indigenous community of Looma, Western Australia has shown great... Read on

Kisarne Horton - Ngukurr RHD Program

Latest News

Ngukurr needle crew: Kids supporting kids

From 2013-2015, there were a group of kids from southern Arnhem Land who referred to themselves as the ‘needle crew’. But much like the... Read on

RHD WHO Report to go to Executive Board

Latest News

Landmark WHO report on RHD ahead of global discussions

Article courtesy of RHD Action Update 1 June 2017: Breaking News! ‘Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease’ Resolution recommended by... Read on

End Rheumatic Heart Disease Sign

Latest News

What will it take to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia?

After two days of meetings to discuss strategies on eliminating rheumatic heart disease in Australia, the take home message was clear.... 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...