Sore throat

Sore throat

Meet Tristan and Justin. The 11-year-old twins know first hand that a sore throat left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever.

The Katoa twins and their rheumatic fever story

11-year-old twins, Tristan and Justin, know first hand that an untreated sore throat can lead to rheumatic fever. 

The 11-year-old twins in the video, Tristan and Justin, know first hand that a sore throat left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever. Justin avoided rheumatic fever. He had a throat swab which showed his strep throat and he completed a course of antibiotics. Unfortunately for Tristan a case of rheumatic fever led to open heart surgery.

  • 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 at-risk child has strep throat, they'll need antibiotics to clear up the infection before it can develop into rheumatic fever
  • if your child is taking antibiotics, it's important that they take the full 10-day course to stop them from developing rheumatic fever

This page last reviewed 05 September 2017.
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