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25 Latest News Articles
Monday 24 April, 2017
Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) Medical Officers are advising the public to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date and to practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette through the autumn and winter months.  This advice is particularly important for pregnant women and their babies, older people, and those with compromised immune systems.

 Influenza or ‘flu’ is a significant public health risk, with around one in four New Zealanders infected each year.  Many won’t feel sick, but can still pass influenza on to others.  It is a serious illness that can lead to hospitalisation or even death, including for young and healthy people. 

ARPHS recommends the influenza vaccination as the best way of protecting you and your family against the illness.  Vaccination is safe and effective, and should be done well before winter. 

ARPHS officials are also managing 59 cases of mumps in the region, most arising in West Auckland.  Cases have been reported in primary and secondary schools and more recently tertiary institutions, and the age range of affected persons is five months to 51 years with over half occurring among students aged 10 to 19 years. 

We urge all parents of school students and tertiary students to check that their measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunisation is up to date.  Practising good hand hygiene and cough etiquette is also important.

ARPHS is currently reviewing a seasonal increase in a specific form of Legionella infection, which may cause pneumonia that can be life threatening for vulnerable people.  Legionella infection is not spread from person-to-person, but is contracted through inhaling dust from soil, or mist from water that contains Legionella bacteria. 

 There were four cases of this specific form of Legionella infection notified in March this year and four cases notified in April to date, which is to be expected at this time of year. As a precautionary measure, ARPHS is retrospectively reviewing all eight cases notified in the Auckland region since 1 March 2017.  The early symptoms of legionella include muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite and coughing followed by high fever, chills and occasionally diarrhoea.
 

If you have any concerns regarding any of these illnesses, please visit your GP or call Healthline for clinical advice by phoning 0800 611 116 (translators are available 24/7).


For mumps resources and fact sheets:

For influenza resources and fact sheets:

www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/communicable-disease/influenza

For Legionella information:

www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/communicable-disease/legionellosis

To minimise the spread of influenza and mumps, follow the hand hygiene rules and cover your cough and sneeze the correct way:

Wednesday 19 April, 2017
For typhoid information and resources, including
translations in Samoan, please click here.

As at 19 April 2017, two further asymptomatic cases have been identified as part of the on-going Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) investigation into the typhoid outbreak, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 22. There is one probable case.  There are no cases under investigation. 

The data indicates the outbreak appears to be waning.  There have been no new symptomatic cases confirmed since 5 April (see ARPHS media update on 6 April), all cases are connected to the same church group, and there is no evidence of people from outside this group becoming infected.

The incubation period of typhoid means cases associated with an outbreak often emerge over the course of several weeks as testing continues.  APRHS continues to work with the families and church congregation most affected by the outbreak, ensuring all members are receiving appropriate testing, advice and treatment.  

Clarification of how typhoid spreads
It is important to understand typhoid is only spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with faeces or urine from a person who has the illness, or who may be a carrier of the bacteria.

Casual social contact, such as hugging and kissing a person, is not a significant risk. People can go about their daily activities as normal, including attending church and other gatherings.

Good hygiene and food safety is always important when sharing and handling food. Wash hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, then dry well with a clean cloth or paper towel every time: 

  • after going to the toilet 
  • before preparing food, eating or drinking 
  • after changing babies’ nappies
Once people are being effectively treated in hospital, the risk of them spreading the disease is significantly minimised. It can take a number of days of monitoring before they are fully cleared by public health. Once cleared, there is no risk of them spreading the disease.

Typhoid has a typical incubation period of 8-14 days but incubation can be up to 80 days. This means cases associated with an outbreak may emerge over the course of several weeks.

Members of the general public who have concerns should visit their GP, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services available 24/7.

For information and resources on typhoid including translations in Samoan please visit www.arphs.govt.nz/typhoid-response

Wednesday 19 April, 2017

Since 01 January 2017, Auckland Regional Public Health Service has received 55 notifications of mumps, with most arising in West Auckland. The age range of affected persons is 5 months to 51 years with over half occurring among students aged 10 to 19 years. 

Cases have been reported in primary and secondary schools and more recently tertiary institutions. As in other countries where large school and tertiary institution outbreaks have occurred, the potential for major disruption to student learning is a concern. We urge all parents of school students and tertiary students to check that their measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunisation is up to date.   

Immunisation with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect against mumps. Practising good hand hygiene and cough etiquette is also important.

To minimise the spread of mumps, follow the hand hygiene rules and cover your cough and sneeze the correct way:

Thursday 13 April, 2017
For typhoid information and resources, including
translations in Samoan, please click here.

This is the final daily update for the Auckland typhoid outbreak.  We will post further updates to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) website if there are significant developments - www.arphs.govt.nz/typhoid-response. Please be aware that as this is an on-going investigation, with many people in the field, we are providing the best information available at the time.

Update on cases
As at 13 April 2017, the number of cases of typhoid in Auckland remains unchanged. There are 20 confirmed cases, one probable case and no cases under investigation connected with this outbreak.  

The data continues to reinforce the view of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) that the outbreak may have plateaued. All cases are connected to the same church group, and there is no evidence of people from outside this group becoming infected.

The incubation period of typhoid means cases associated with an outbreak often emerge over the course of several weeks as testing continues.  APRHS continues to work with the families and church congregation most affected by the outbreak, ensuring all members are receiving appropriate testing, advice and treatment.  

Clarification of how typhoid spreads
It is important to understand typhoid is only spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with faeces or urine from a person who has the illness, or who may be a carrier of the bacteria.

Casual social contact, such as hugging and kissing a person, is not a significant risk. People can go about their daily activities as normal, including attending church and other gatherings.

Good hygiene and food safety is always important when sharing and handling food. Wash hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, then dry well with a clean cloth or paper towel every time: 
  • after going to the toilet 
  • before preparing food, eating or drinking 
  • after changing babies’ nappies
Once people are being effectively treated in hospital, the risk of them spreading the disease is significantly minimised. It can take a number of days of monitoring before they are fully cleared by public health. Once cleared, there is no risk of them spreading the disease.

Typhoid has a typical incubation period of 8-14 days but incubation can be up to 80 days. This means cases associated with an outbreak may emerge over the course of several weeks.

Members of the general public who have concerns should visit their GP, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services available 24/7.
Wednesday 12 April, 2017
For typhoid information and resources, including
translations in Samoan, please click here.

As at 12 April 2017, the number of confirmed cases of typhoid has increased to 20. There is one probable case.  There are no cases under investigation. 

The two newly confirmed cases are asymptomatic contacts who were identified as part of the on-going Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) investigation into the outbreak. Following testing they have now been reclassified as confirmed cases.   

The data continues to reinforce the view of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) that the outbreak may have plateaued. All cases are connected to the same church group, and there is no evidence of people from outside this group becoming infected.

The incubation period of typhoid means cases associated with an outbreak often emerge over the course of several weeks as testing continues.  APRHS continues to work with the families and church congregation most affected by the outbreak, ensuring all members are receiving appropriate testing, advice and treatment.  

ARPHS Public Health Physician, William Rainger said, “Typhoid is a very treatable disease and we continue to work closely with the families, with church and community leaders, and with other parts of the health sector to effectively manage this outbreak.”  

Clarification of how typhoid spreads
It is important to understand typhoid is only spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with faeces or urine from a person who has the illness, or who may be a carrier of the bacteria.

Casual social contact, such as hugging and kissing a person, is not a significant risk. People can go about their daily activities as normal, including attending church and other gatherings.

Good hygiene and food safety is always important when sharing and handling food. Wash hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, then dry well with a clean cloth or paper towel every time: 
  • after going to the toilet 
  • before preparing food, eating or drinking 
  • after changing babies' nappies
Once people are being effectively treated in hospital, the risk of them spreading the disease is significantly minimised. It can take a number of days of monitoring before they are fully cleared by public health. Once cleared, there is no risk of them spreading the disease.

Typhoid has a typical incubation period of 8-14 days but incubation can be up to 80 days. This means cases associated with an outbreak may emerge over the course of several weeks.

Members of the general public who have concerns should visit their GP, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services available 24/7.
Tuesday 11 April, 2017
For typhoid information and resources, including
translations in Samoan, please click here.

Daily updates will continue to be provided daily by Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) this week. These will be posted here on the ARPHS website mid-afternoon. Please be aware that as this is an on-going investigation, with many people in the field, we are providing the best information available at the time. In addition, if there are significant developments, we will update you as soon as possible.

As at 11 April 2017, the number of cases of typhoid in Auckland remains unchanged for the fifth consecutive day.

There are 18 confirmed cases and one probable case connected with this outbreak, and another further case under investigation.  Of these, one person currently remains in hospital.

The data reinforces ARPHS’ view the outbreak may have plateaued. APRHS continues to work with the families and church congregation most affected by this outbreak to ensure all members are receiving appropriate testing, advice and treatment.  

Clarification of how typhoid spreads
It is important to understand typhoid is only spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with faeces or urine from a person who has the illness, or who may be a carrier of the bacteria.

Casual social contact, such as hugging and kissing a person, is not a significant risk. People can go about their daily activities as normal, including attending church and other gatherings.

Good hygiene and food safety is always important when sharing and handling food. Wash hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, then dry well with a clean cloth or paper towel every time: 
  • after going to the toilet 
  • before preparing food, eating or drinking 
  • after changing babies’ nappies
Once people are being effectively treated in hospital, the risk of them spreading the disease is significantly minimised. It can take a number of days of monitoring before they are fully cleared by public health. Once cleared, there is no risk of them spreading the disease.

Typhoid has a typical incubation period of 8-14 days but incubation can be up to 80 days. This means cases associated with an outbreak may emerge over the course of several weeks.

Members of the general public who have concerns should visit their GP, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services available 24/7.

For information and resources on typhoid including translations in Samoan please click here.
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