Sore throat

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Meet Tristan and Justin. The 11-year-old twins know first hand that a sore throat left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever. Justin avoided rheumatic fever when his strep throat was detected by swabbing and he completed a course of antibiotics - unfortunately for Tristan a case of rheumatic fever led to open heart surgery. See more videos in this series.

  • rheumatic fever starts with a sore throat that is known as ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a bacteria called Group A streptococcus
  • most sore throats get better on their own, but if strep throat is not treated with antibiotics it can cause rheumatic fever in at-risk children
  • because rheumatic fever is such a serious illness, all sore throats in Māori and Pacific children and young people (aged 4 and above) need to be checked
  • if your child has strep throat, they’ll be given antibiotics to clear up the infection before it can develop into rheumatic fever
  • if your child is given antibiotics it’s important that they take the full 10-day course to stop them from developing rheumatic fever
This page last reviewed 11 June 2014
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2014
Printed on 22 August 2014. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version
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