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Whooping Cough

As you may be aware there has been an increase in Pertussis (Whooping cough) around the country and we are now seeing an increase in cases across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts.

To help protect yourself and those around you please note the following:

1.    Immunisation against whooping cough is effective, so students are encouraged to be up-to-date with their immunisations.  Parents should ensure young children and babies are immunised on time and that the first scheduled immunisations for babies are not delayed.
2.    If a student has any of the following symptoms they should see their GP:
a.    cough lasting more than two (2) weeks; and/or
b.    sudden coughing attacks especially if they end in vomiting, breathlessness, or a 'whoop' sound.
3.    People with whooping cough are infectious until they have had antibiotics for five (5) days - or, if   not treated, until three (3) weeks after the cough started. During this infectious period a student with whooping cough:
a.    should not attend school; and,
b.    take care, where possible, to avoid contact with women in the late stages of pregnancy (because of the possible risk to their newborns), babies and young children.
4.    Good hand hygiene is always beneficial and it is important to remember to cover your cough and not to cough on, or near, babies.
5.    For further advice phone 0800 IMMUNE  (466 863) or go to www.toiteorapublichealth.govt.nz/whooping_cough

Nicola Chadwick
Communicable Disease Nurse
Toi Te Ora - Public Health
Regional Community Services  BOPDHB