Support for GPs in the fight against ARF and RHD

Sandra Downing, Sara Noonan



Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) predominantly affects young people in rural and remote Indigenous communities. However, it is more common than previously thought in urban areas, and it is likely that milder or atypical cases are being missed. Prevention and treatment programs for ARF and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Australia have increased in recent years, and their focus is moving towards a co-ordinated national approach.

Key Points

  • Australia has some of the highest reported rates of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in the world.
  • Jurisdictional control programs are the key support for primary healthcare providers.
  • Evidence-based best practice guidelines are available online, in hardcopy or via a smart device app.
  • New accredited clinician e-learning modules have been recently launched.