An outbreak of whooping cough (Pertussis)in the South Island could be the start of a new epidemic which occur in three to five year cycles, and parents need to be vigilant to this deadly disease when they are infants and in their school years. Although starting in the South Island it has the ability to travel quickly.
While immunisation provides protection it’s not permanent and New Zealanders need to make sure they take ongoing steps to protect themselves and their families.
Diagnosis is always a challenge as it must always be distinguished from other cough illnesses. Any cough that lasts over two weeks could be whooping cough but if you or your child has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with whooping cough it’s important to get to a GP as soon as possible as antibiotics can be administered early in the illness.
On-time immunisation, with a whooping-cough vaccine at six weeks, three months and five months of age is necessary to protect infants against whooping cough. Four and eleven-year-olds also need to receive their boosters on time. People are urged to visit their GP for more information or to book a booster vaccination.