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

 

National outbreak of whooping cough declared

National outbreak of whooping cough declared

The Ministry of Heath has declared a national outbreak of whooping cough, as a total of 1,315 cases have been reported since the beginning of 2017.

“Babies under one year old are most vulnerable to the disease and often catch it from older siblings, their parents or family members and friends,” said Ministry of Health Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay.

“The best way to protect babies is for pregnant women to get their free immunisation against whooping cough between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy, and take their baby for their free immunisations when they’re six weeks, three months and five months old.” Any siblings should also be up-to-date with their immunisations – older children receive free boosters at four and eleven years of age. If people are unsure whether they or their children have been immunised, they can talk to their health practitioner, doctor or nurse.

“On time immunisation is vitally important,” says Dr McElnay. “If immunisation is delayed, babies are vulnerable for longer.”

When pregnant women are vaccinated, they pass their immunity on to their babies, protecting them until they are able to be immunised at six weeks of age. The Ministry has asked midwives and general practices to work together to ensure that pregnant women are referred to general practices for immunisation.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging people to be extra vigilant as they gather for Christmas and New Year celebrations, in order to protect young babies from whooping cough.

“Anyone with coughs should be especially careful if they are likely to come in to contact with babies. Most adults don’t realise they have whooping cough, but it is incredibly contagious.”

Outbreaks of the disease occur every 3 to 5 years. New Zealand’s most recent national outbreak spanned from August 2011 to December 2013, with about 11,000 cases notified. A total of 3 deaths in babies and young children occurred during this period, with hundreds needing hospital treatment. New Zealand’s vaccination strategy for whooping cough is aimed at preventing disease in babies. Whooping cough is less serious in adults, but is harder to prevent for them as immunity wears off over time.

For more information on whooping cough, including videos and interviews with parents whose babies have caught whooping cough please visit
www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/whooping-cough

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ Festival : The NZSO Goes To The Disco and more...

In the endless, anguished debates about how to make classical music more relevant to new audiences, proposals are often put forward to strip away certain elements – reduce the formality ... More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland