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Abstract: Background: Acute rheumatic fever is a rare multisystem disease caused by an immunological response to Group A streptococcus infection. Acute rheumatic fever usually has onset in childhood and is most prevalent in Aboriginal and Maori populations and other disadvantaged groups. Objective: In this article we outline the clinical features of acute rheumatic fever and describe the important role of primary healthcare providers in its identification, management and secondary prevention. Discussion: Recurrent episodes of acute rheumatic fever may lead to rheumatic heart disease. Early detection of acute rheumatic fever and provision of secondary prophylaxis with antibiotics is paramount to the prevention of rheumatic heart disease. Primary healthcare providers can play an important role in identifying acute rheumatic fever and ensuring adherence to treatment within the context of a complex interplay of cultural and socioeconomic factors. The recent establishment of RHD Australia will support the development of appropriate educational resources and their dissemination among health professionals and vulnerable communities.

To cite this article: Smith, Michael T; Zurynski, Yvonne; Lester-Smith, David; Elliott, Elizabeth and Carapetis, Jonathan. Rheumatic fever: Identification, management and secondary prevention [online]. Australian Family Physician, Vol. 41, No. 1/2, Jan/Feb 2012: 31-35. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=875670412208592;res=IELHEA> ISSN: 0300-8495. [cited 03 Dec 16].

Personal Author: Smith, Michael T; Zurynski, Yvonne; Lester-Smith, David; Elliott, Elizabeth; Carapetis, Jonathan; Source: Australian Family Physician, Vol. 41, No. 1/2, Jan/Feb 2012: 31-35 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0300-8495 Subject: Rheumatic fever; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Associate Professor, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, New South Wales
(2) Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales
(3) Professor, Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Sydney; and Consultant Paediatrician, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, and Director, Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit
(4) Director, Menzies School of Health Research; and Professor, Charles Darwin University and consultant, Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory

Database: Health Collection