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

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news