Keep your home warm and dry and create as much space to spread out around your home, rather than having to crowd in the same room. Having more warm rooms and more sleeping spaces available means germs such as strep throat, which can lead to rheumatic fever, are less likely to spread.
By following these tips, your home could be cheaper to heat and more comfortable to live in, and you will be helping to protect your family from health problems.
What is rheumatic fever?
Rheumatic fever can develop after a ‘strep throat’ – a throat infection caused by a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria. Most strep throats get better and don't lead to rheumatic fever. However, in a small number of people an untreated strep throat leads to rheumatic fever one to five weeks after a sore throat. This can cause the heart, joints, brain and skin to become inflamed and swollen.
While the symptoms of rheumatic fever may disappear on their own, the inflammation can cause rheumatic heart disease, where there is scarring of the heart valves. People with rheumatic heart disease may need heart valve replacement surgery. Rheumatic heart disease can cause premature death in adults.
In 2015, 98 people were admitted to hospital for the first time with rheumatic fever. The Ministry of Health’s overall goal is to reduce the number of rheumatic fever hospitalisations by two thirds before the end of 2017.
Keep your home warm, dry and healthy with these tips
To watch tips in Samoan click here
For tips in Tongan click here
And for Maori click here