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First published Monday 8 October 2018.

What is rheumatic heart disease?

An entirely preventable disease, rheumatic heart disease (RHD) develops as a result of an abnormal immune reaction to a sore throat or skin sore resulting from a Strep A infection. When left untreated, the condition can lead to permanent disability and premature death.

Although rarely seen in developed countries, Australia has some of the highest rates in the world, seen largely in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

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Please direct general enquiries to our reception on (08) 6319 1000.

Please direct media enquiries to our media team:

Kate Harford
END RHD Communications and Advocacy Specialist
Telethon Kids Institute
Phone: 08 6319 1648 (office) or 0402 558 465 (mobile)
Email: Kate Harford

Amy Birch
Senior Communications Officer
Telethon Kids Institute
Phone: 08 6319 1671 (office) or 0437 575 875 (mobile)
Email: Amy Birch  

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About Telethon Kids Institute

The Telethon Kids Institute is based within the Perth Children’s Hospital, and is one of the largest, and most successful medical research institutes in Australia, comprising a dedicated and diverse team of more than 700 staff and students.

We've created a bold blueprint that brings together community, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funders, who share our vision to improve the health and wellbeing of children through excellence in research.

The Institute is headed by leading paediatrician and infectious diseases expert Professor Jonathan Carapetis, with Founding Director Professor Fiona Stanley now Patron.

Telethon Kids is independent and not-for-profit. The majority of funding comes from our success in winning national and international competitive research grants. We also receive significant philanthropic support from corporate Australia and the community.