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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