DHB warns whoop­ing cough is in the district

CHB Mail - - News -

Hawke's Bay DHB is warn­ing of sev­eral con­firmed cases of whoop­ing cough (per­tus­sis) in CHB.

Whoop­ing cough is a very in­fec­tious dis­ease that causes cough­ing fits. It is caused by a bac­te­ria that is eas­ily spread by cough­ing and sneez­ing. Im­mu­ni­sa­tion against whoop­ing cough is avail­able.

Whoop­ing cough can be se­ri­ous in ba­bies and young chil­dren, es­pe­cially those who are not fully im­mu­nised. They can stop breath­ing and turn blue dur­ing cough­ing fits, get pneu­mo­nia, a lung in­fec­tion, con­vul­sions or brain dam­age.

Most ba­bies un­der a year old with whoop­ing cough will need to go to hos­pi­tal. A few will need to go into in­ten­sive care. One of ev­ery 100 ba­bies with whoop­ing cough will die.

Teenagers and adults can also get com­pli­ca­tions like pneu­mo­nia, but whoop­ing cough is usu­ally less se­ri­ous in these ages, es­pe­cially if the person has been im­mu­nised.

Peo­ple with heart or lung prob­lems or with im­mune sys­tem prob­lems are more at risk of com­pli­ca­tions.

The best way to pre­vent whoop­ing cough is to be up to date with im­mu­ni­sa­tions. This means get­ting im­mu­nised against whoop­ing cough.

Pro­tec­tion from this im­mu­ni­sa­tion de­creases over time, and peo­ple can get whoop­ing cough years af­ter their last im­mu­ni­sa­tion or in­fec­tion. Be­cause ba­bies are most at risk, preg­nant women should get a whoop­ing cough booster vac­cine for free, be­tween 28 and 38 weeks of preg­nancy, in ev­ery preg­nancy. The mother can then pass her im­mu­nity on to her baby to help pro­tect them un­til they are old enough to be im­mu­nised them­selves.

Other adults can have booster vac­ci­na­tions for a cost, if you work with, care for or live with ba­bies un­der a year old, or have heart, lung or im­mune sys­tem prob­lems.

■ For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on whoop­ing cough con­tact your doc­tor or Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Pop­u­la­tion Health on (06) 834 1815. You can also phone Health­line on 0800 611 116 at any time of the day or night to speak to a reg­is­tered nurse. For more in­for­ma­tion on im­mu­ni­sa­tions, go to www.im­mune.org.nz

Im­mu­ni­sa­tion is ad­vised as whoop­ing cough cases are con­firmed in CHB.

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