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

 


Call For Free Chicken Pox Vaccine

Call For Free Chicken Pox Vaccine


New Zealand health experts are today calling for the vaccine to protect children from Varicella-Zoster Virus - which causes chicken pox in children and shingles in adults – to be made free on New Zealand’s National Immunisation Schedule (NIS).

This is the recommendation of a study being presented at the 2014 Australian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Meeting taking place in Adelaide from 26-29 March.

Varicella is a very common childhood condition and hospitalisations frequently occur for bacterial super-infection. The study being presented at ASID looked at the number of hospitalisations from varicella and post-varicella complications, and found the average age of those admitted to be 2.4 years. Almost a fifth of cases experienced ongoing problems upon discharge.

Maori and Pacific Island (PI) children accounted for 74% of admissions.

“Varicella is associated with significant morbidity. Maori and PI children are over-represented. This surveillance gives support for inclusion of varicella vaccine in the NZ NIS,” the researchers conclude.

Read the study on varicella


OTHER LEAD STORIES ON NEW ZEALAND

Failing our children? Children's hospitals underfunded to stave off superbugs
Australia and New Zealand’s children’s hospitals lack resources to properly implement measures to control antibiotic resistance, and fare worse than adult hospitals, a study being released at the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Meeting shows.

The spread of resistance to antibiotics has been agreed by health experts and politicians to be one of the greatest threats to human health in the modern age. Last year, David Looke, President of ASID and others warned of the coming of a new ‘Red Plague’ stating “Without intervention, many of the greatest advances in the practice of medicine — such as transplantation, joint replacement surgery or critical care medicine — will be under significant threat.”

“Without a coordinated effort at government level across all human and animal health care sectors, we are likely doomed to failure,” they warned.

• In this study, children’s hospitals and large hospitals with paediatric patients in every state and territory in Australia and New Zealand were surveyed. Only half had a dedicated paediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) team. While 71% hospitals had an AMS pharmacist, only 29% had funding for a permanent paediatric AMS pharmacist. Only 14% hospitals had dedicated funding for medical staff for AMS.
• All hospitals had empirical antibiotic guidelines and of those with oncology services 83% had febrile neutropenia guidelines. However, the majority did not have anti-fungal, surgical prophylaxis, intensive care or neonatal guidelines.
• There was a paucity of AMS education with no education for senior medical staff at all and 29% hospitals having no education for any staff.
• All hospitals had restricted drugs but only 29% hospitals had electronic approval systems.
• Auditing methods differed widely between hospitals but in the majority it was ad hoc, with results fed back in an untargeted way.
• The commonest perceived barriers to successful AMS included lack of education (79%) and of dedicated pharmacy (57%) and medical (50%) resources.

In 2013 Australasian children’s hospitals have implemented some activities, but the majority are lacking resources. Overall AMS is stronger in predominantly adult hospitals, but paediatrics is often not included, the study concludes.
Read the antibiotic use press release
Read the abstract on the national antimicrobial prescribing survey
Read the abstract on factors underpinning antibiotic use
Read the abstract on antibiotic resistance in New Zealand


Antibiotic ointments: No longer working in New Zealand?
New Zealand has high rates of Staphylococcus aureus skin infections, with subsequent high reported usage of topical antimicrobials. Overuse of topical fusidic acid (an antibiotic applied to the skin) is contributing to rapidly growing antibiotic resistance, with over 30% resistance to, one of the highest rates of resistance to topical antimicrobials in the world. “Improved regulation on the use of topical fusidic acid is urgently warranted,” experts say.
Read the abstract on fusidic acid

Disease inequality in New Zealand: Infectious disease inequality in New Zealand’s population is continuing. “Maori and Pacific children in NZ have a disproportionately high risk of (hospital) admission with infection compared to New Zealand children of European ethnicity, consistent with that observed in Aboriginal children in Australia.”
Read the New Zealand press release
Read the abstract on childhood hospitalisations in New Zealand

Rates of streptococcal and staphylococcal disease are well above the level seen in other developed countries. The incidence is highest in the over 75-year age group, and in Pacific Peoples, with the incidence in Pacific Peoples almost seven times higher than in New Zealanders of European ethnicity. “The increase in S. aureus SSTIs, coupled with the observed demographic disparities, is of considerable concern. Future work should aim to reduce this disturbing national trend.”
Read the abstract on S. aureus in New Zealand

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Review: The NZSO Performs Handel's Messiah

    Max Rashbrooke: Saturday night's performance took the piece back to something like the way it would have originally been performed when premiered in 1742, with an orchestra of 20-30 players and only a few more singers. More>>

    Culture: Rare Hundertwasser Conservation Posters Found After 40 Years

    When Jan and Arnold Heine put a roll of conservation posters into storage in 1974 they had no idea that 42 years later they would be collectors items. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news