Rheumatic fever cases on the rise across Aotearoa

By Bronson Perich

Children’s rheumatic fever rates in Wellington have shot up by 25% in the past week.

Case numbers are up across the whole country and Porirua GP, Dr Sarah Sciascia warns whānau Māori of this deadly disease.

“What causes it is a bacteria or a bug called Streptococcus A. What it does, it gets into the throat, causes an infection, sometimes it can get into the heart,” she explains.

Dr Sciascia says that it’s a life-long situation.

Although it can be treated with antibiotics, once cured, Dr Sciascia says that it can return.

She urges anyone with a sore throat, breathlessness, rashes, joint pains on shoulders, elbows and knees to see a doctor.

The Takapūwāhia/Porirua-based GP recommended the public watch this information video to educate whānau about rheumatic fever.