158950 - ARF/RHD What is it?
This module is an overview of ARF and RHD in the global and Australian context. It includes the ARF/RHD disease pathway, an introduction to the Jones criteria for diagnosis of ARF; disease statistics from northern Australia and RHD prevention strategies including a summary of Australia’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy and RHD control program objectives.Relevance to General Practice
Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is difficult to diagnose and relies on the clinician’s awareness of diagnostic features that can be mistaken for mild childhood illness. Accurate and timely diagnosis of ARF, and the administration of regular antibiotics to prevent recurrent ARF are challenging, yet imperative for optimal treatment of patients and families.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Australia continue to experience among the highest rates of RHD in the world. It is a clear indicator of the gap in health equity, given the incidence of ARF is approximately 59 per 100 000 among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and less than 1 per 100 000 for other Australians.
There are currently more than 6000 people with ARF and RHD on registers in WA, NT, SA, QLD and NSW and next to nurses, GPs were the most common professionals to complete the initial patient assessment