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Sunday, 27 May 2018 06:53 am

LISTEN: Persistent Pertussis causing concerns

Feb 7th, 2018 | By | Category: Featured Article

A December outbreak of whooping cough shows no sign of slowing down.

New Zealand is no stranger to the bacterial disease, also known as pertussis, with outbreaks occurring in waves every 3-5 years.

The previous outbreak lasted from August 2011 to the end of 2013.

Dr Sarah Jefferies, a Public Health Doctor for the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, says the current outbreak is showing similar rates of reported cases.

She says the cyclical nature of outbreaks is due to changing levels of susceptibility.

Dr Jefferies says another reason the disease spreads so easily is because people don’t always know if they are contagious.

Children under the age of one are the most at risk of whooping cough as they experience more severe symptoms, often requiring hospitalisation.

Sarah Jefferies says the best way to stop the disease spreading is to get immunised, however other preventative actions can help.

For more information on immunisations, call 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466863)

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