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Sore throats

A child’s untreated sore throat (‘strep throat’) can lead to rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever is a serious preventable disease which may cause permanent heart damage. 

Get a sore throat checked right away. Don't ignore it.

 There are lots of places you can get a sore throat checked.

  •  You can go to your doctor or nurse, or

  •  Click here for information about free sore throat swabbing and treatment in 34 Bay of Plenty pharmacies, or

  •  Click here for information about school based throat swabbing programmes in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes


Rheumatic fever

Often starts with a sore throat (a streptococcal infection). A few weeks later the following symptoms may develop:

  • sore or swollen joints

  • a skin rash

  • a fever

  • stomach pain

  • jerky movements

Although these symptoms may disappear, the heart valves may be permanently damaged – this is called Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD).

Rheumatic fever is not uncommon in the Bay of Plenty. Those most at risk of developing rheumatic fever are:

  • children aged between 4-19 years

  • Maori and Pacific

  • people who share a house with lots of others

For further information on rheumatic fever, click on the links below:

Or contact Lindsay Lowe, Rheumatic Fever Co-ordinator (07) 577 3790 or email

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