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

 

Coast pertussis cases on the rise

Coast pertussis cases on the rise

Pregnant women and babies under one need to be vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough), Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton says.

“There is a national epidemic of pertussis and the number of cases on the Coast is beginning to rise. Babies and children under the age of one are most at risk of serious illness and complications from pertussis,” she says.

“On time vaccination of babies and children against pertussis is their best protection against the disease. The vaccine is safe and free for pregnant women and can protect their babies until they are old enough to be vaccinated”

In February, six cases of pertussis were notified to community and Public Health: five cases in Buller and one in Grey district. In the week ending 2 March, there were two cases in Buller, one in Grey and one in Westland.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly infectious disease that is spread by coughing and sneezing. It’s caused by bacteria which damage the breathing tubes.

The symptoms usually appear around a week after infection. Pertussis tends to develop in 3 stages:

Initial stage (catarrhal stage), symptoms include:
• a runny nose
• sneezing
• slight fever
• a mild irritating cough
• feeling generally unwell
This stage is when you’re most infectious. It lasts 1 or 2 weeks.

Second stage (paroxysmal stage):
• Coughing fits (paroxysms) are the main symptom in this stage. A paroxysm is a spasm of coughing followed by a big breath in or high-pitched ‘whoop’ in children. Babies and adults generally don’t have the high-pitched ‘whoop’.
o Intense bouts of coughing, which bring up thick phlegm
o a ‘whoop’ sound with each sharp intake of breath after coughing
o vomiting after coughing, especially in infants and young children
o tiredness and redness in the face from the effort of coughing
o Babies and young children often appear very ill, and may turn blue and vomit from coughing so much.
This stage usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks but can persist for up to 10 weeks.

Third stage (recovery stage):
During this stage, the cough gradually gets better. After several weeks the cough disappears. However, for months you may still get coughing fits whenever you get a respiratory infection like a cold.

See your doctor if you think you or a family member may have pertussis (whooping cough), particularly if they:

o have prolonged coughing spasms
o turn blue while coughing
o cough with a whooping sound
o are un-vaccinated

You should seek immediate medical advice if:

o you have a baby of 6 months or younger who appears to be very ill
o you (or your child) appear to be experiencing significant breathing difficulties such as extended periods of breathlessness
o you (or your child) develop serious complications, such as seizures (fits) or pneumonia, an infection that causes inflammation of the tissues in your lungs

Babies under the age of one who get pertussis are more likely to become seriously ill and need hospital treatment.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Zappa

The first of the NZSO’s Shed Series concerts at the more informal and intimate space of Wellington's Shed 6 last Friday night featured music composed by, or with a connection to Frank Zappa. Zappa, a psychedelic rock legend, activist and popular culture figure and all round colourful character, was an excellent choice for the concert’s theme of innovation. More>>

Let The Games Begin: PM Sends Best Wishes To Athletes

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sent her warm wishes to the New Zealand athletes preparing for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast... More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review of Books: Martin Edmonds' The Expatriates

This book is an extension of, and tribute to, the life’s work of James McNeish. Without sacrificing any degree of authorial independence, the result is gracefully written, handsomely produced, and likely to propagate many further works of its kind. More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. More>>

Joe Cederwall Review: WOMAD 2018 - Harmony of Difference (part 1)

A friend described WOMAD as his “favourite white middle class celebration of diversity.” There is certainly an echo of truth to this as the crowd is still largely white and middle class, but this WOMAD for me represented that a better world is possible ... More>>

Harmony of Difference (part 2)

Top international world music artists seldom make it down to this neck of the woods, so for those of us into this sort of thing WOMAD is certainly a welcome addition to the cultural calendar. Now it is a case of waiting and looking forward to seeing what they manage to conjure up for next year. More>>

Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland