Weekly Wrap Up

Public Health News

Cryptosporidium cases are increasing across the region, especially in Wellington. This bug causes watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps, which usually last 2-4 days but can continue for up to two weeks. This bug is easily spread through infected people swimming in pools.  Around half of the recent cases had swum in swimming pools either before or while they were unwell. To keep our pools clear of this bug, children or adults who have been unwell with diarrhoea should not swim in pools until two weeks after the symptoms have cleared. You can find more information on how to manage private or school swimming pools on our website here.
Viral gastroenteritis (usually caused by norovirus)
Gastroenteritis is also ‘doing the rounds’.  It causes the sudden vomiting and diarrhoea in adults and children.  Most people are sick for 24 to 48 hours.  This virus is easily passed to others at home and in schools and early childhood centres.  People with norovirus are infectious while they are unwell and for several days after the diarrhoea stops.  To stop the spread of norovirus and other bugs everyone needs to wash and dry their hands after going to the toilet, before preparing and eating food and after changing nappies. Sick children should stay away from early childhood centres until at least 48 hours after the diarrhoea has stopped and the child is feeling well. School children can usually return 24 hours after diarrhoea stops but this may be extended when there is an outbreak.  
Whooping cough (pertussis) 
Whooping cough is still circulating in the Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa regions.  Whooping cough is especially severe and serious for newborn and babies up to 12 months of age.  Having your child immunised is the best form of protection and reduces the spread of this illness.  These immunisations are free for babies at 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months of age and boosters at 4 years and 11 years  Free whooping cough immunisation are also available for pregnant women (weeks 28-38). Visit the RPH website for more information on whooping cough here.

Influenza (‘flu) 
Get immunised. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your community.  New Zealand’s Influenza immunisation this year provides protection against the strains that have already caused illness this year in other countries.  Your best protection against influenza is to be immunised NOW before it reaches our communities. Immunisation is free for adults and children with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and people aged 65 years and older.  Healthy people can be immunised for a fee at their medical centre. Visit the RPH website  for more information on Influenza here.