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Push to stop sore throats hurting hearts

Push to stop sore throats hurting hearts

Listen out for a hard hitting message from New Zealand kids to their parents and caregivers. Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service will be spreading the children’s message on local radio and newspapers throughout the Bay of Plenty from April to June.

Stop sore throats hurting hearts – get sore throats checked.

Rheumatic fever is a serious illness in our communities. It mainly affects Maori and Pacific children (aged 4 to 19 years) especially if someone in the family has had it before. Rheumatic fever starts with a sore throat that is known as a ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a bacterial infection or bug called Group A Streptococcus. If the ‘strep throat’ is not treated with antibiotics it can cause rheumatic fever.

If a child gets rheumatic fever they can become very sick with sore swollen joints (elbows, ankles, wrists and knees), tiredness, heart problems and may need on-going heart operations. They will not be as healthy as before and will spend a lot of time in hospitals and at the doctors.

“There have been great efforts to reduce this illness in our area, but it is still far too common. Rheumatic fever can be prevented, if sore throats are dealt with early. If your child complains of a sore throat, take them to the local health centre to be checked,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service. If it could be ‘strep throat’ they will be given 10 days of antibiotics. Make sure they take these until they are all finished.

Let’s stop sore throats hurting hearts – get sore throats checked to keep hearts strong.

For more information visit: www.ttophs.govt.nz/rheumaticfever

ENDS

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