Notification of rheumatic fever
Please notify all suspected and confirmed cases of rheumatic fever (both acute and recurrent attacks) to the Medical Officer of Health.
Phone: 0800 221 555, select option 3
Urgent/After hours: 0800 221 555, select option 5
On-call Medical Officer of Health: 07 579 8000 (Tauranga Hospital)
Rheumatic fever e-learning course
A free rheumatic fever e-learning course from the Ministry of Health is available at Learnonline.health.nz
This user guide provides information on how to access the course.
The course is free and is aimed at primary care nurses, public health nurses and community health workers working with families whose children are at risk of developing rheumatic fever. The course is also useful for locum general practitioners, general practitioners new to New Zealand and pharmacists.
Participants will receive a certificate showing they’ve successfully completed the two hour course.
Made up of four modules, the course includes information about:
- rheumatic fever in New Zealand
- how to identify people at high risk of rheumatic fever and how to assess and manage sore throats based on the identified risk
- ways to reduce the transmission of sore throats within the household
- how to identify the main symptoms and signs of rheumatic fever, as well as how it is typically managed
The course was developed in consultation with rheumatic fever experts, primary care nurses and community health workers.
Rheumatic fever: A priority for the Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards (DHB) areas have a high incidence of acute rheumatic fever. Both DHBs now have plans aimed at reducing acute rheumatic fever. As part of these plans, there are regular public rheumatic fever awareness campaigns. A key message is ‘stop sore throats hurting hearts’. The underlying premise is that early diagnosis and treatment of strep throat will reduce the incidence of Acute Rheumatic Fever.
As a result of the campaigns, there may be an increase in the number of parents requesting throat swabs for their children. Consequently, we are also promoting the use of the Rheumatic Fever Guidelines published by the Heart Foundation.
See below for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHB plans, information for GPs, links to the Rheumatic Fever Guidelines and information on the epidemiology of rheumatic fever in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHBs.
Primary Care information
Sore Throat Management Pathway - Bay Navigator
Rheumatic fever in Māori: What can we do better? - Best Practice Journal, Issue 37, August 2011
Heart Foundation - Rheumatic Fever Guidelines
Algorithm 1 to 4
Please note that Algorithm 1 is now obsolete and has not been replaced (as per 2014 Guideline 1 revision)
Algorithm 4: A Guide for Sore Throat Management (Revised 2019)
Bay of Plenty DHB - clinical resources
- Bay of Plenty DHB Rheumatic Fever Pathway of Care
Bay Of Plenty DHB ARF checklist - Dr Zarrar Khan / Dr Malcolm
Rheumatic Fever in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes district
Toi Te Ora Public Health Reports