11th August 2017, Volume 130 Number 1460

Diana Lennon

We should be celebrating as after a half a century we can see signs of making progress. Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) has declined instead of endlessly climbing as it has…

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Author Information

Diana Lennon, Professor of Population Health of Children and Youth, Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland; Paediatrician in Infectious Diseases, Starship and Kidz First Hospitals, Auckland.


Diana Lennon, School of Population Health, Morrin Road, Glen Innes, Auckland 1072.

Correspondence Email


Competing Interests



  1. Milne RJ, Lennon DR, Stewart JM, Vander Hoorn S, Scuffham PA. Incidence of acute rheumatic fever in New Zealand children and youth. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2012; 48 (8):685–91.
  2. Denny FW, Wannamaker LW, Brink WR, Rammelkamp CH Jr., Custer EA. Prevention of rheumatic fever; treatment of the preceding streptococcic infection. Jama. 1950; 143(2):151–3.
  3. Trenholme A, Best E, Vogel A, Stewart J, Miller C, Lennon D. Respiratory virus detection during hopsitalisation for lower respiratory virus infection in children under 2 years in south Auckland, New Zealand. J Paed Child Health. 2017(53):551–5.
  4. Lennon D, Gellin BG, Hood D. Successful vaccine intervention in a group A meningococcal outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992; 11:617–23.
  5. Baker M, McNicholas A, Garrett N, Jones N, Stewart J, Koberstein V, et al. Household crowding a major risk factor for epidemic meningococcal disease in Auckland children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000; 19(10):983–90.
  6. Lennon D, Jackson C, Wong S, Horsfall M, Stewart J, Reid S. Fast Tracking the Vaccine Licensure Process to Control an Epidemic of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease in New Zealand. Clin Infect Dis. 2009; 49(4):597–605.
  7. Lennon D, Stewart J, Farrell E, Palmer A, Mason H. School-Based Prevention of Acute Rheumatic Fever: A Group Randomized Trial in New Zealand. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009; 28(9):787–94.
  8. Gordis L. Effectiveness of comprehensive-care programs in preventing rheumatic fever. N Engl J Med. 1973; 289(7):331–5.
  9. Lennon D, Anderson P, Kerdelemidis M, Farrell E, Crengle Mahi S, Percival T, et al. First Presentation Acute Rheumatic Fever is Preventable in a Community Setting; A School Based Intervention. The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal 2017.
  10. Bowen AC, Tong SY, Andrews RM, O’Meara IM, McDonald MI, Chatfield MD, et al. Short-course oral co-trimoxazole versus intramuscular benzathine benzylpenicillin for impetigo in a highly endemic region: an open-label, randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. Lancet. 2014; 384(9960):2132–40.
  11. Martin DR, Voss LM, Walker SJ, Lennon D. Acute rheumatic fever in Auckland, New Zealand: Spectrum of associated group A streptococci different from expected. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1994; 13 (4):264–9.
  12. Williamson DA, Smeesters P, Steer A, Steemson JD, Ng AC, Proft T, et al. M-protein analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes isolates associated with acute rheumatic fever in New Zealand. J Clin Microbiol. 2015.
  13. Mhlanga N, Sharp G, Nulsen M. emm type distribution of Group A Streptococcus isolates from the throat swabs of children living in areas with a high (Northland and Gisborne) or low (Palmerston North) incidence of Acute Rheumatic Fever New Zealand Medical Journal. 2017; 130(1460):13–20.
  14. Lennon D, Reid S, Stewart J, Jackson C, Crengle S, Percival T. Reducing inequalities with vaccines: New Zealand’s MeNZB vaccine initiative to control an epidemic. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2012; 48(3):193–201.


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