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Keeping children safe from whooping cough

MEDIA RELEASE 18 December 2009


Immunisation Advisory Centre outpost

South Pole

TO: All Santa Clauses and associated workforce (elves, The Tooth Fairy)

Re: Keeping children safe from whooping cough.

This is a friendly reminder for all those involved in personalised late night present delivery, and/or tooth transfer from under pillows. New Zealand is currently experiencing a significant increase in the number of children with Whooping Cough (Pertussis).

This highly infectious disease is spread through coughing and sneezing, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind you about how best to help keep children of NZ safe.

• Refrain from coughing on children when seeing if they have been naughty or nice

• Similar caution should be taken by tooth fairies during tooth transfer from under pillows

• Leave notes under the glass of milk/beer/whiskey encouraging parents to keep their children’s immunisations up to date.

• Wash your hands after exiting the chimney

• Don’t cough on children when placed on your lap, regardless of what they want for Christmas

Young babies under one year are most at risk of serious complications from whooping cough. Around seven out of ten babies who catch whooping cough when they are under six months old are hospitalised. One in thirty of those hospitalised die. Infants who have their immunisations delayed are 4 – 6 times more likely to end up hospitalised with whooping cough.

Whooping cough is one present you don’t want for Christmas, so keep your babies protected. Call 0800 IMMUNE for more information.


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