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Meningococcal advice for Bay of Plenty and Lakes district

MEDIA RELEASE

Meningococcal advice for Bay of Plenty and Lakes district residents

There is an outbreak of Meningococcal disease (type W) in Northland. In response, the Ministry of Health has begun rolling out a targeted vaccination programme in Northland for children aged 9 months to 4 years, and those aged 13 to 19 years.

“We do not have a meningococcal disease outbreak across the Bay of Plenty or Lakes District Health Board areas,” says Dr Jim Miller, Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health. “Currently the number of reported cases of meningococcal disease across our region remains within the expected range. However, we have had a change in the type of meningococcal disease that is occuring; three cases of meningococcal W have been reported this year,” says Dr Miller. Of note, the most recent case of meningococcal disease in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes areas was in September.

“Currently, there is no change to our meningococcal vaccination recommendations – and a vaccination programme for children and youth in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes, or elsewhere in New Zealand other than Northland, has not been recommended,” says Dr Miller. Toi Te Ora Public Health continues to monitor the situation closely and follow up all cases of meningococcal disease in our region.

The outbreak in Northland is however a timely reminder for members of the public to be aware of meningococcal disease and its signs and symptoms. For more information visit:

• Toi Te Ora Public Health - www.toiteora.govt.nz/meningococcal_disease
• Ministry of Health - www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/meningococcal

If you or your whānau are concerned, please speak to your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

ENDS

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