Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Response to Influenza A (H1N1) Threat

Update on Health Response to Influenza A (H1N1) Threat

Health officials have received laboratory advice of the first two cases of confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes DHB regions.

Medical Officer of Health Phil Shoemack says the first case is a 15- month-old child who is holidaying in New Zealand with his American family. The swab taken from the child at Taupo Hospital ED mid-week has returned positive. When the child was taken to Taupo Hospital ED the family had been in New Zealand for five days.

Dr Shoemack says the family was tracked down at a relative's place in Wellington, and the public health follow-up work is being carried out by Hutt Valley staff. The American family and relatives the family is staying with has been asked to stay put in the household and await further instructions from the public health staff.

The second confirmed case is a Tauranga teenager who visited her GP during the week with flu-like symptoms. While a swab was taken from her, because she had no history of overseas travel or contact with a confirmed case, she was sent home with what were thought to be seasonal flu symptoms. Once the laboratory test for Influenza A (H1N1) was returned

late on Saturday (13 June), public health staff called and arranged follow-up of the family and other close contacts.

Dr Shoemack says public health staff in the Bay of Plenty are following up on the young woman's flatmates, staff at her workplace and other close contacts.

Lakes and Bay of Plenty DHBs have been jointly planning and preparing since late April when the first suspected cases were identified in New Zealand. The number of people

being managed by the Lakes and BOP public health unit is continuing to steadily increase.

Late last week the World Health Organisation declared the influenza A (H1N1) swine flu outbreak as a pandemic and moved to a phase 6 alert which recognises widespread community transmission of the virus around the world. Phase 6 means that WHO considers that a global pandemic is underway - it means nothing about the severity of the illness or this strain of influenza, rather it relates to how quickly and how widely the virus is spreading.

Dr Shoemack said the timing of the WHO declaration of a pandemic is spot on in terms of the way the outbreak is progressing in New Zealand. He says people need to be prepared for more widespread transmission of the new H1N1 influenza virus.

The Ministry of Health advice is that people who have travelled overseas but who are well do not need to be routinely excluded from school or work on their return. But if they have flu symptoms within seven days they should call their doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116), and not go to school or work.

At this time, the Ministry of Health is not recommending cancelling or postponing overseas travel during the upcoming school holidays which start on Saturday 4 July. The situation in both New Zealand and internationally is being constantly reviewed, but it is not possible to predict what the situation will be in New Zealand or other countries in early July.

In most cases, people with influenza can safely recover at home and will not need to see their GP or emergency clinic. However, people should seek medical advice when necessary, especially if their condition worsens. Seeking medical advice is particularly important for people with underlying medical problems who are at higher risk of complications from influenza.

If you have recently travelled and develop influenza symptoms, it is still important that you phone for medical advice - Healthline 0800 611 116 or your own GP. Please don't turn up at the doctor's rooms or emergency department, as you can spread the virus to other people.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election