Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) has been added to the list of notifiable conditions in Queensland. The Public Health Regulation 2018 came into effect from 1 September 2018 and will list RHD as a clinical diagnosis notifiable condition.
What is Rheumatic Heart Disease?
Rheumatic heart disease is a chronic condition caused by damage to the heart valves. This occurs after single or repeated episodes of acute rheumatic fever.
RHD is often associated with overcrowding and poor living conditions, as well as lack of access to health care and services. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at a much higher risk of developing acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease compared to non-Indigenous Australians.
Group A Streptococcal infection, acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease are preventable with improved housing and living conditions, and early antibiotic treatment.
What is the notification process?
The process of notification requires the diagnosing clinician to complete a notification form and send it to the Queensland RHD Register and Control Program via fax (1300 429 536) or email (ArfRhdRegister@health.qld.gov.au).
You can download the notification form, criteria and procedures from the Queensland Health website: http://disease-control.health.qld.gov.au/Condition/825/rheumatic-heart-disease.
For further information on notifying RHD, including getting access to the notification form, Queensland Health guidelines, and resources for health professionals, please visit the communicable disease control guidance website at: http://disease-control.health.qld.gov.au/