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Protect against whooping cough


Protect against whooping cough

Auckland continues to experience a whooping cough epidemic. Whooping cough is a highly infectious and serious illness. It is particularly serious for babies under 1 year of age. 1 in 4 babies in Auckland are not currently fully immunised by 6 months of age. This puts these babies at increased risk of getting whooping cough. 2 babies have died from whooping cough in New Zealand in the recent outbreak.

Dr Catherine Jackson, Medical Officer of Health at the Auckland Regional Public Health Services says “the number of people with whooping cough is very high, and we are not seeing the full picture as many people do not think they are sick enough to see their doctor for a nagging cough”.

To keep whanau safe, children must be vaccinated on time. Families expecting a new baby, or who have a baby under 12 months old, should check that all their family members and visitors to the baby have had the whooping cough vaccination in the last 5 years. If you are not sure if your children are fully vaccinated, check their Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health Book, or ask your family doctor or practice nurse.

Vaccination for all children is free, and women in their 7th month of pregnancy can now have a free vaccination from their family doctor.

If you feel sick with a cold – runny nose, slight fever and an irritating cough you might have whooping cough, so you must stay away from babies and go and see your family doctor.

Get more help and information from:

Auckland Regional Public Health Services website http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/communicable-disease/pertussis-whooping-cough
Immunisation advisory centre www.immune.org.nz or freephone 0800 466 863
Talk to your family practice nurse or your doctor
Call Health Line 24/7 on freephone 0800 611 116
Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health Book information website http://www.health.govt.nz/yourhealth-topics/children/well-child-tamariki-ora
Plunket Line freephone 0800 933 922

ENDS

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