Rheumatic heart disease develops after repeated bouts of acute rheumatic fever (ARF). ARF is an illness caused by a reaction to a bacterial infection with Group A Streptococcus, and mainly occurs during childhood and adolescence. RHD is very common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Prevention of RHD involves regular injections of long acting penicillin, every three to four weeks. This is known as secondary prophylaxis.
The SA Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Register aims to improve the management of patients with ARF and RHD by assisting clinics with monitoring patient movements, identifying individuals with poor adherence to secondary prophylaxis and providing education and training. The following fact sheets and forms have been developed for the SA RHD Register. For more information about ARF and RHD, visit the following:
Notification of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease
Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are notifiable diseases in South Australia under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011. These diseases must be notified to the Communicable Disease Control Branch within three days of suspecting or confirming a diagnosis on 1300 232 272 during business hours or using the standard notifiable conditions reporting form (PDF 77KB).
Notification of these diseases will help to improve the health of our community through public health action to reduce the burden of RHD in SA. Consent is no longer required to enrol people on the SA RHD Register.
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