12 Sep 2012

Porirua students screened for heart disease

8:07 am on 12 September 2012

Intermediate students from eight Porirua schools are to be screened for rheumatic heart disease.

A team from the Capital & Coast District Health Board and Starship Hospital will visit the schools between October and November.

Year seven and eight students whose parents agree, will have a heart ultrasound scan and abnormal results will be followed up.

Any student found to have rheumatic fever will be offered penicillin injections to prevent further harm.

The disease, which is caused by a strep throat infection, can seriously damage the heart, sometimes before there are obvious signs.

The $70,000 project is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Health. Similar trial projects have already been held in the Far North and South Auckland.