Rheumatic Fever

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

Rheumatic fever is an autoimmune response to Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection of the upper respiratory tract. The autoimmune response may result in carditis or inflammation of the mitral and/or aortic valves. When the inflammation leads to permanent damage of the valves the individual has rheumatic heart disease (RHD).

This short course will cover the diagnosis, management and secondary prevention of acute rheumatic fever.

Appropriate identification and antibiotic treatment of sore throats in high-risk populations will usually eliminate group A streptococcus and prevent individual cases of acute rheumatic fever. Sore throat management (primary prevention) is covered in the short course Sore throat management in primary care

Learning objectives:

  • Know the clinical features of acute rheumatic fever.
  • Understand the principles of the initial management of acute rheumatic fever.
  • Know the secondary prevention required for acute rheumatic fever.
  • Be aware of strategies to improve the adherence of secondary prevention.


Following the course you will find a short quiz designed to help consolidate your learning. When you complete the quiz please hit the 'submit' button to receive your certificate. 

This course has been endorsed by The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) and by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) for CME credits for their General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes, and the College of Nurses Aotearoa (NZ) for PD hours.


This material was written by Dr Karen Falloon PhD, MBChB, FRNZCGP in 2017 and updated in 2021.


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