Rheumatic fever is a serious but preventable illness. It mainly affects Māori and Pacific children and young people aged 4 to 19, especially if they have other family members who have had rheumatic fever.
Rheumatic fever starts with a kind of sore throat called a strep throat – a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A Streptococcus.
If your child has a higher risk of getting rheumatic fever AND has a sore throat, it could be serious. Don’t ignore it. Take them to a doctor or nurse straight away to get the sore throat checked.
Children and young people who have the highest risk of getting rheumatic fever are mainly Māori and Pacific aged between 4-19 years, living in some parts of the North Island.
Check to see if you are living in an area with a high incidence of rheumatic fever. Children and young people with a family history of rheumatic fever are also at higher risk.