For each acute rheumatic fever (ARF) notification, region of notification is recorded on the rheumatic heart disease (RHD) register. In most cases the place where infection was acquired cannot be determined. ARF cases were assigned to their notification state or territory, and region for this analysis.
Each state or territory defines regions uniquely, based on its own specific health services boundaries. There are 33 regions spread over Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. Regions do not cross state and territory boundaries.
In 2015–2019, the Northern Territory accounted for 60% of the 2,128 acute rheumatic fever (ARF) notifications among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (1,280 notifications). Queensland accounted for a further 21% of cases, Western Australia for 14% and South Australia for 4%.
In 2015–2019, the three highest rates of ARF notifications were reported in regions in the Northern Territory:
- Urban Alice Springs with 568 per 100,000 (193 notifications)
- Barkly with 512 per 100,000 population (112 notifications)
- Rural Darwin with 491 per 100,000 population (305 notifications) (Figure 6).