Dramatic spike in children suffering dangerous disease rheumatic fever

There’s been a dramatic spike in the number of Wellington children in hospital with the dangerous disease rheumatic fever.

Wellington’s Regional Public Health service has issued an alert to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and Covid-19 testing centres, telling them to be on the lookout and to swab any children at risk.

The disease can cause life-long heart damage, and shorten people’s lives by decades.

There had been nine Wellington children in hospital with acute rheumatic fever this year, the public health service said in its alert.

Normally there would have been one or two.

Nationally there had been about a 25 percent increase (from 58 to 72) in the disease, the service said.

All the Wellington children were from Porirua or the Hutt Valley. Continue reading

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.