A child’s untreated sore throat (‘strep throat’) can lead to rheumatic fever.
Rheumatic fever is a serious preventable disease which may cause permanent heart damage.
Get a sore throat checked right away. Don't ignore it.
A sore throat can also be a symptom of COVID-19. Call Healthline on 0800 611 116, or your doctor or nurse, to arrange to have it checked.
Often starts with a sore throat (a streptococcal infection). A few weeks later the following symptoms may develop:
- sore or swollen joints
- a skin rash
- a fever
- stomach pain
- jerky movements
Although these symptoms may disappear, the heart valves may be permanently damaged – this is called Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD).
Rheumatic fever is not uncommon in the Bay of Plenty. Those most at risk of developing rheumatic fever are:
- children aged between 4-19 years
- Māori and Pacific
- people who share a house with lots of others
For further information on rheumatic fever, click on the links below:
Or contact Lindsay Lowe, Rheumatic Fever Co-ordinator (07) 577 3790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Promotion Agency resources
The Health Promotion Agency has a wide variety of rheumatic fever campaign material and resources for health workers and families.
Click here to view resources from the 2014 - 2017 campaigns
Ministry of Health resources
Click here to view Ministry of Health learning resources
Heart Foundation resources
5 messages to keep your family healthy
The 5 messages to keep your family healthy resources are aimed at reducing hospitalisations for preventable diseases such as rheumatic fever and skin infections.
- Bay of Plenty rheumatic fever awareness campaign - Multi-media awareness campaigns ran between March to June from 2010 to 2017
- Evaluation report of the 2014 Bay of Plenty awareness campaign
- Summary of the Bay of Plenty awareness campaigns
- Evaluation of the 2010 Bay of Plenty awareness campaign