NYT Examines Efforts To Prevent, Treat Rheumatic Heart Disease In Rwanda
New York Times: Where a Sore Throat Becomes a Death Sentence
“…In the United States and other rich countries, children with sore throats are routinely tested for strep and quickly cured with penicillin or other cheap antibiotics. But in poor countries, strep throat often goes undiagnosed and can become a long, slow death sentence. Without treatment, it can lead to rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, in which the immune system attacks the heart valves … Experts say programs to educate people about sore throats and strep, and to distribute penicillin widely to local clinics, could help greatly to prevent rheumatic heart disease in poor regions. But even those efforts probably would not wipe it out completely, because not everyone with strep seeks medical attention…” (Grady, 9/16).