Rheumatic fever campaign kicks off in Auckland

  • 13/02/2017
Rheumatic fever can lead to serious heart problems
Rheumatic fever can lead to serious heart problems

More than half the country's rheumatic fever cases are in Auckland and a campaign from this week will try to do something about it.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says this year's rheumatic fever awareness campaign starts Monday with a focus on reducing cases in Auckland.

"Rheumatic fever is serious but preventable. Children and young people from Pacific and Maori communities are the most vulnerable," says Dr Coleman.

"While we're making good progress to reduce rheumatic fever rates, there's still more work to be done to meet the ambitious BPS target.

Rheumatic fever makes the heart, joints, brain and skin swollen and painful. It occurs when the immune system attacks the heart instead of the germs from an illness.

The campaign has an increased Auckland focus in more than 20 suburbs across the three Auckland DHB regions.

The campaign runs until the end of April using local media channels, Pacific and iwi radio stations and social media.