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Together we can Beat the Fever

 

Rheumatic Fever disproportionately affects our Pacific children aged between 4 and 19 years old. Without treatment, it can lead to life-threatening heart disease. But it is easily preventable.

 

This storytelling video series showcases the impact of Rheumatic Fever on our Pacific  communities. 

If you or someone you know has a sore throat, skin rash or any other symptoms of Rheumatic Fever, don't wait - get checked and get treated.

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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.

Rheumatic fever mostly affects our Pacific children aged 4 - 19 years old.

 

But it can be prevented – if you or your child has a sore throat, get it checked and get it treated.

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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.  

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Download your information booklet on Rheumatic Fever in your preferred language.

Symptoms

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  • Rheumatic fever often starts with a SORE THROAT that is known as ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus.
     

  • Without treatment, strep throat can cause rheumatic fever.
     

  • A family history of Rheumatic Fever means you have a higher risk of rheumatic fever
     

  • Rheumatic Fever causes life-threatening heart damage.
     

Treatment

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  • Treatment is simple and will be provided by your GP clinic or school health clinic.
     

  • Antibiotics are FREE.
     

  • Take your prescribed antibiotics for the full 10 days or get one bicillin injection to kill all the bugs.

Prevention

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  • ALL sore throats in Māori & Pacific children need to be checked at your GP clinic or school health clinic.
     

  • If strep throat is not treated with antibiotics it can cause rheumatic fever.
     
  • Keep your home warm and dry, having more warm rooms and more sleeping spaces available means germs like strep throat are less likely to spread.