September 21, 2022
Covid measures keep rheumatic fever away
The Ministry of Health is looking into why rheumatic fever cases dropped during the Covid pandemic.
Deputy director general Maori John Whaanga says it’s collecting information on current prevalence rates.
We’re pretty certain but we need to go through the process of substantiating if the Covid lockdowns and the Covid-related public health messaging and public health measures and the fact we had border closures might have contributed to the fact there has been overall a decline during those years in rheumatic fever,” he says.
Mr Whaanga says other factors such as poor housing and overcrowding need to be addressed, and there is also work being done to develop a vaccine for strep throat, which can lead to rheumatic fever.
which is tied to socio economic factors including housing.