Rheumatic fever is serious.
It often starts with a sore throat.
Without treatment, some sore throats can cause rheumatic fever which can lead to life-threatening heart disease.
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER
WHAT IS RHEUMATIC FEVER?
Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune disease which can be caused by untreated strep throat. It happens when your immune system makes a mistake and attacks other parts of your body, as well as the strep throat germs.
Rheumatic fever is a serious illness that can cause damage in your heart as well as swelling and pain in your hips, knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. You may also notice a skin rash, fever, or jerky movements. Over time, most of these symptoms will go away but any damage to your heart may be permanent.
A strep throat infection can lead to rheumatic fever, even if it's the first time or a one-off. The risk of getting rheumatic fever gets higher when someone has repeated untreated strep throat infections.
NEW ZEALAND'S PACIFIC TELL THEIR STORIES
"New Zealand's Heart-breaker" - a RNZ Story
Joseph Tuala is a member of the Pacific People's Health Advisory Group, supported by Alliance Health Plus.
In 2019 we arranged for him to speak with Radio New Zealand to share his powerful story.