Fiji Time: 12:12 AM on Friday 24 March

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Throat ail could be your heart

Dawn Gibson
Monday, April 07, 2014

NOT enough people understand that the seriousness of RHD starts from a simple throat infection.

And too often, throat infections are not treated immediately, particularly when they appear in children.

This can be dangerous given that such an infection could lead to RHD.

Health Ministry head pediatrician Dr Joseph Kado explained that it's crucial for throat infections in children to be treated as soon as possible.

"The prevalence of RHD in Fiji in children between five and 14 years is 35.4 per 1000 people. That means that 3.5 per cent of children have definite or probable RHD," Dr Kado said.

"RHD is the most common cause of heart disease in children and young adults. It often starts mild, but can develop into a life-threatening illness."

He said when children got throat infections and the body produces an immune response to the infection, it could in fact lead to acute rheumatic fever and if not treated could lead to RHD.

"It's when the body produces a strong immune response to a throat infection caused by a particular type of bacteria —Group A streptococcus, or strep throat.

"Most strep throat infections get better without developing further, but in some cases where it is left untreated the throat infection can cause the heart, joints, brain and skin to become inflamed and swollen.

"And if this inflammation causes scarring to the heart valves, the affected person can develop RHD."

This points to the importance of treating and preventing such illnesses before they have the chance to develop further.

And Dr Kado highlighted the need to complete all antibiotic medication provided by doctors, otherwise the infection is not completely removed from the body.

"The antibiotic needed to treat strep throat is simply penicillin and the common presentation of this is with a sore throat, so get a single injection of benzathine penicillin or 10 days of oral penicillin.

"If you notice your child getting any symptoms of a sore throat or a throat infection, bring them to your nearest doctor and get them treated."








Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Westpac
Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.65150.6325
JPY 54.965751.9657
GBP 0.39020.3822
EUR 0.45250.4405
NZD 0.69980.6668
AUD 0.63970.6147
USD 0.49090.4739

from

$0.00

Exchange Rate updated on 23rd, March, 2017

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Landowners demand $20m compensation from State
  2. FRU has final say
  3. Residents want local TV coverage
  4. Sandalwood trees for villages 'historic'
  5. Sugarcane farmers' petition disallowed
  6. Village needs $1m to move
  7. A-G clears the air on Fiji-India codeshare
  8. Parts puzzle at FSC
  9. 'Surge' in dengue fever
  10. Fiji wary of NZ

Top Stories this Week

  1. Shock after brutal attack Tuesday (21 Mar)
  2. Students sent home Tuesday (21 Mar)
  3. Man rapes wife, jailed Tuesday (21 Mar)
  4. Villagers complain of 'red' sea Friday (17 Mar)
  5. Uni urges Fijians to apply for NZ grants Monday (20 Mar)
  6. Staff share $6m Friday (17 Mar)
  7. Concerns over explicit online pictures Tuesday (21 Mar)
  8. RKS retains Tailevu Zone title Wednesday (22 Mar)
  9. Minister issues maternity benefits warning Tuesday (21 Mar)
  10. QVS blue ribbon king to miss Coke Games Wednesday (22 Mar)