Better Health Channel
  • Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an abnormal immune reaction that sometimes follows throat and skin infections with group A Streptococcus.
  • Episodes of ARF, especially when severe or recurrent, can damage the heart valves. This is known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD).
  • The rates of RHD are higher in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Māori and Pacific Islander peoples, and those who have migrated to Australia from low to middle income countries where ARF and RHD remain common.
  • Preventing, recognising, and managing streptococcal infections and ARF are important in preventing RHD, especially among people at higher risk.

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Reviewed on: 05-02-2024