Whooping Cough Alert

There have been a couple of cases of whooping cough reported to the Te Puna Waiora Centre over the past couple of days. 

Auckland regional public health is notified of all confirmed cases and will follow up as required. The Health Service has sent us an information sheet to help staff and students recognise the symptoms of whooping cough and avoid catching or spreading the disease.Whooping cough is a serious and highly infectious disease and is spread by direct contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of infected people. 

Young children, especially babies under 12 months, and people with weak immune systems (immunocompromised) can become very ill and occasionally die from whooping cough.

New born babies are at very high risk, so pregnant women in their third trimester should see their doctor and get treatment if they get symptoms of whooping cough or have been exposed to a person with whooping cough.

Symptoms

See your doctor if you have symptoms of whooping cough. Make sure you notify the receptionist that you may have whooping cough when you make your appointment as you will need to be isolated when you arrive:

  • runny nose
  • fever
  • dry cough
  • coughing attacks

People who have whooping cough should stay at home for at least 5 days after starting antibiotics or for 3 weeks if they don’t take antibiotics.

If you have symptoms of whooping cough, please stay away from babies and pregnant women until you have confirmed you do not have whooping cough or have completed treatment. Remember to cover coughs and sneezes.

Prevention

Immunisation is the best way to protect against whooping cough. Practising good hand hygiene and cough etiquette is also important. Please see this information sheet for what to do if you come into contact with a person who has whooping cough.

What to do if you become unwell

See your health professional if you haven’t been immunised, are showing symptoms or have any concerns. If you become unwell, it is important that you keep away from school/lectures until you are seen by your doctor to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

More information on this announcement can be found on the ARPHS website www.arphs.govt.nz.