News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Whooping cough outbreak a reminder to immunise babies

4 December 2012


Ongoing whooping cough outbreak a reminder to get babies immunised on time

Parents in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts are urged to ensure their babies receive their first immunisations on time at six weeks to protect them from whooping cough (pertussis).

An outbreak of whooping cough started in the South Island last year and has spread across New Zealand during 2012. Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service has been notified of 243 people with whooping cough in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts since the start of this year, with 14 people requiring hospitalisation.

Whooping cough is highly infectious and is caused by bacteria that are spread through the community by coughing and sneezing in the same way as colds and influenza. Symptoms start with a runny nose, and dry cough. Coughing gets worse over the next few weeks developing into attacks of coughing which sometimes end in vomiting or with breathlessness. The ‘whoop’ sound sometimes occurs especially as a baby draws a breath after a long coughing attack. Babies under one year are most at risk of serious complications from the illness.

“Whooping cough is a preventable disease. Immunisation for whooping cough is part of the routine childhood immunisation programme and we strongly recommend parents get their babies immunised on time,” says Dr Phil Shoemack, Medical Officer of Health. Whooping cough immunisations are given when a baby is 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months old and boosters are given to children at 4 years and 11 years of age. “On-time immunisation gives babies the best protection. For parents of older children it’s a good reminder to check their children are up to date with immunisations. It’s never too late to catch up,” says Dr Shoemack.

Adults who have a cough and work with young children should be especially vigilant in case they have whooping cough. "If you’re concerned about a cough stay away from babies and young children and talk to your doctor about whether it could be whooping cough," says Dr Shoemack.


Whooping cough immunisation is free for your child. Contact your family doctor or practice nurse for more information or to make an appointment for immunisation.

For more information call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) or visit our website www.ttophs.govt.nz/whooping_cough.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news