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Families and communities

Families and communities

It can be frightening to find out that someone in your family or community has ARF or RHD. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can help support people living with the disease:

  • Support people having regular antibiotic injections to have their injections on time.
  • Encourage healthy teeth, healthy eating and exercise.
  • Makes sure that pregnant women with RHD see a doctor and plan to deliver their baby in a hospital.

You can also help prevent other people in your family and community getting RHD:

  • Encourage all children and young people with a sore throat to see a health worker.
  • Make sure that children and young people with one or more sore joints sees a health worker.


  • Although the strep infection which causes ARF is infectious, the disease RHD is not. You cannot catch RHD from someone who has the disease.
  • With treatment many people with RHD are able to live healthy lives.