StopSoreThroatsHurtingHeartsRheumatic Fever is a serious preventable disease that can cause permanent damage to the heart.  Rheumatic fever usually starts with a sore throat; group A streptococcus (GAS), which if left untreated can lead to Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF).

Learn more about Rheumatic fever

It is important that all sore throats are checked by a doctor to ensure a correct diagnosis is made and the right treatment is given.  However, once a diagnosis of Acute Rheumatic Fever is established, the patient will then usually commence on a monthly Benzathine Penicillin injection.  This monthly injection is to prevent the recurrence of rheumatic fever leading to further heart damage.

At the BOPDHB we are dedicated to reducing the rates of rheumatic fever.  Our aim is to ensure all rheumatic fever patients are seen on time to receive their monthly injection.  The District Nurse can arrange for a clinic visit, home visit or a school visit to make sure the patient does not miss his/her injection.

School based throat swabbing programmes  

School based throat swabbing programmes are aimed at preventing rheumatic fever by detecting and treating streptococcal throat infection ('strep throat').

For a list of throat swabbing teams and services in the Bay of Plenty, click here.

Pharmacy based throat swabbing service

34 Pharmacies across the BOPDHB region are now providing Rapid Response Sore throat swabbing and treatment services for the management of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis. This service is part of a plan to reduce the incidence of Rheumatic Fever by two thirds in our area by increasing access to free, rapid, effective sore throat management through a combination of rapid response, general practice and school-based services.

For a list of Pharmacies providing throat swabbing services, click here.

For more information

Healthline Freephone 0800 611 116
In an emergency call 111 for an ambulance

Last updated: August 29, 2018