Vaccines crucial in whooping cough epidemic
Fri, 08 Jun 2012 4:03p.m.
By Imogen Crispe
Parents are being urged to immunise their children on time against whooping cough, after a large scale outbreak this year.
There have been 322 reported cases this year – five times as many as last year.
Dr Cameron Grant, associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Auckland, told 3 News this is an epidemic and late immunisation is endangering New Zealand children.
“A third of New Zealand children under one year of age are at five times increased chance of hospitalisation simply because they haven’t had their doses on time,” he says.
Infants need to be vaccinated at six weeks of age, then at three months and again at six months.
Children then need further vaccines at age four and 11.
“I don’t think people necessarily appreciate the absolute importance of getting the doses on time,” says Dr Grant.
He says immunisation does not completely stop people from catching whooping cough, but reduces the severity of the disease.
“If you do get it you’re not going to get nearly as sick.”
Dr Grant, who is a consultant paediatrician at Starship Children’s Hospital, says the disease spreads easily to children and adults.
“It tends to be spread out in the community as it is a very infectious disease. Every case causes 15 secondary cases.”
He says it is also a very dangerous disease, although no one in Auckland has died of the disease this year
“It still kills babies. If you get whooping cough under a year of age you have a six in 10 chance of ending up in hospital.”
Dr Grant says of those who end up in hospital, one in 10 end up in the intensive care unit, and of those one in six will die or suffer brain or lung damage.
Although it is less serious, adults can also catch whooping cough and spread it to children and babies.
Dr Grant says in adults the main symptom is a cough that goes on for longer than a usual cold or flu cough.
“If you’ve had it for two weeks or more, coughing in long bursts of coughing… sometimes feel like you’re going to vomit, or retching.”
He recommends adults along with children get immunised for whooping cough.
Babies can have similar symptoms to adults or worse.
“Some little babies can just stop breathing or become very unresponsive and sick,” Dr Grant says.
He advises sick people to stay away from babies and if they have a cough for two weeks or more, to see their GP.
He says whooping cough epidemics happen every four years and can last a while.
Since the outbreak began in August 2011, there have been 3400 cases of whooping cough nationwide.
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23/07/2012 9:56:58 a.m.
Diane Tuimavave - Rauwhero wrote:
this epidemic is very scary :/
10/06/2012 4:19:20 p.m.
The pertussis vaccination offers a 13-20% chance of immunity for infants. Your best bet is to do the research on the effectiveness of different vaccines, the MOH put out a serology report which is easily accessible from their website.
Homeopathic vaccinations? Maybe a better suggestion is eating well, and cutting out refined sugar as it is an immune suppressant.
Homeopathy offers some great cough suppressants. A good naturopath can make sure your body is functioning well and give advice on what to take, and eat that can help minimize effects of diseases, herbalists, acupuncturists, osteopaths (and more) can all help with disease processes, recovery, and staying well.
Scientific scrutiny? Science cannot explain everything. When it comes to trying to fit different paradigms into the scientific testing regime, results tend to be somewhat misleading.
9/06/2012 11:41:56 a.m.
There is NO EVIDENCE that ' homeopathic vaccines' work. To suggest that it is an alternative to vaccination is misleading and endangers the health of babies.
9/06/2012 6:58:31 a.m.
Regarding what Sue said, homeopathic "vaccines" are not vaccines and will offer absolutely NO protection - don't waste your time, money or health on them.
9/06/2012 5:42:17 a.m.
@SUE. Yes you can get that, but it wont do anything. Homeopathy doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny, and implying that it is effective is dangerous.
8/06/2012 8:06:13 p.m.
You can also get a natural homeopathic "vaccine" in drops from your local health store which supply homeopathics-you can give to baby, children or adults.
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