Kaupapa Maori Health Care Services

in the Western Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Rheumatic Fever Throat Swabbing

Rheumatic fever is recognised nationally as a significant contributor to poor child health outcomes in New Zealand.  Rheumatic fever is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in childhood in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Approximately 180 causes of acute rheumatic fever, or 4.2 cases per 100,000 people, are diagnosed every year. It is most common in the North island.
There are significant clusters of Rheumatic fever among school aged children across Northland, South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Hawke’s Bay, and East Porirua. Ages 5 – 14 years are most at risk.

“Sore throats aren’t cool”

Rheumatic fever often starts with a sore throat (a streptococcal infection).  If left untreated, a few weeks later the child may develop sore or swollen joints, skin rash, fever, stomach pain and jerky movements.  Although these symptoms may disappear, the heart valves may be damaged and this damage can be permanent.  This is called Rheumatic Heart Disease. A simple throat swab can make all the difference.

Throat swabs can be taken at:

Tauranga Moana City Clinic  |  Tebbs Lane  |  Monday – Friday

Throat swabs are also available in local schools.

Rheumatic Fever Coordinator: Maysie

Contact our program coordinator on 027 807 2909 for more information. A child who has Group strep A will be given antibiotics FREE of charge.