June 14, 2016
Vigilance keeps rheumatic fever at bay
The number of new cases of rheumatic fever in the Counties Manukau health district is on the decline, but there’s no cause for complacency.
Dr Rawiri Jansen says the decline is because of the massive effort that has gone into picking up kids with strep throat, which if untreated can lead to the fever and ongoing problems such as heart disease.
More than 60 south Auckland schools now have nurses and whanau support workers to ensure every sore throat is checked, even if only one in five has the streptococcal infection.
"For years we had a conversation in the clinics about trying to get people to come in less but this is a specific case where we are going to get every sore throat checked, Maori, Pacific, high-needs communities living in areas where we have got rheumatic fever from Kaitaia in the north to Kawerau and different parts of the country and especially around south Auckland and everybody is doing it. I am pleased to see we have whanau who are being vigilant and health services who are doing the right thing for the right patients at the right time," Dr Jansen says.
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