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

 


Chiefs Line Up For Measles Protection

7 March 2014

Chiefs Line Up For Measles Protection

When Chiefs doctor Kevin Bell heard how a 23-year-old suffered recently when she caught measles at a hip-hop festival in Australia it made him wonder how well protected his Chiefs rugby players were.

The woman needed two bouts of hospital treatment to pump fluids into her body; she vomited up her pain relief medication, could not eat and had an extremely high temperature.

Almost 60 Aucklanders have had measles this year prompting health professionals to urge Kiwis to “get vaccinated”.

Dr Bell knows how a bout of measles could affect the Chiefs and their performance on the playing field and he does not want to risk any of his players or their families. Later today (Friday 7 March) some Chiefs players, staff and families will receive a measles vaccination from Waikato District Health Board (DHB) health professionals.

“Measles can be life threatening: about 1 in 10 people with measles will need hospital treatment. The Chiefs are about to head overseas to Australia and South Africa and so it was important for us to check before we travelled away, how many of our players needed the measles vaccine,” said Dr Bell.

“There have been lots of cases of people bringing measles into New Zealand over the last three months. We don’t want to be the ones who do that to another country.”

Measles is a very serious disease that causes fever, cough, sore eyes and a rash. It is highly infectious.

The only way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Many teenagers and young adults have not had two doses of measles vaccine and aren’t protected against measles. Young children are usually vaccinated at 15 months and 4 years of age.

Public health expert Waikato DHB’s medical officer of health Dr Anita Bell says New Zealand could have eradicated measles in the country now if not for incorrect research 16 years ago. [i]

“The only ones who should be worried by the latest measles outbreaks are those who have not been vaccinated. If you don’t know whether you were vaccinated, contact your GP, they will be able to tell you.

“If you are an adult and you suspect you may have only had one vaccine, then get two separate vaccines about a month apart.”

Anyone who suspects they may have measles, should call their GP, or Healthline on 0800 611 116, as soon as possible.

“It is important to call before visiting a GP surgery or emergency department so that staff can take steps to prevent measles being spread to people in the waiting room,” said Dr Anita Bell.

“Please make sure that children are up to date with childhood immunisations. Those born before 1969 are thought to be immune,” she said.

The Chiefs and some of their partners and children will also have their annual flu vaccination today.

The immunisations are part of the Chiefs partnership with the Waikato DHB and Waikids (the Waikato DHB youth and children services).

A record 23,330 more Waikato residents were vaccinated against influenza last year, compared to the same period in 2012.

More than 95,000 Waikato people were vaccinated, up from 71,810.

"The Chiefs management, staff and players really got behind the Waikato's influenza campaign and allowed us to film, photograph and write about the boys receiving their immunisations, which inevitably encourages others to have their's done," said Waikato DHB media and communications director Mary Anne Gill.

"Whether they think so or not, these guys are role models in our community and we know that having their involvement in relaying important health messages works, so we are really appreciative of the time and leadership they are taking in this year’s campaign against measles and influenza,” she said.

"Keeping our squad healthy is essential to our success," said Dr Kevin Bell.

"The immunisations, along with good hand hygiene certainly helped us reduce the incidents of illness amongst the players."

[i] Many academics say Canadian Andrew Wakefield is responsible for the increased cases of measles around the world due to his now discredited research published in 1998.

Where his widely dismissed claims got traction – that the combined triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella increased the risk of autism – outbreaks of the preventable disease followed, including in New Zealand.

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 373,220 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6450 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.

www.waikatodhb.health.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news