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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 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.

How is it Prevented?

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

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

Media Release - Department of Health

New Roadmap to Eliminate Rheumatic Heart Disease

Media Release by Department of Health 27 February 2018 The charting of Australia’s first comprehensive roadmap to end rheumatic heart... Read on

RHDAustralia Programs Page

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

“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