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25 Latest News Articles
Tuesday 23 May, 2017
For typhoid information and resources, including
translations in Samoan, please click here.

As at 23 May 2017, two new cases have been identified that are associated with the Auckland typhoid outbreak, bringing the number of confirmed cases to 24. There is one probable case.  There are no cases under investigation.  

The new cases are being managed outside of Auckland, but are linked to the same families and church group as the other cases associated with this outbreak. There is no evidence of anyone from outside these groups being infected.  

The new cases are in line with the expected pattern of a typhoid outbreak.  ARPHS still considers the outbreak is waning but the two new cases do reinforce the importance of continued vigilance and follow up. Good hand hygiene and food safety practices are very effective in stopping the spread of 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 can emerge over the course of several weeks as testing continues. 

APRHS continues to work with colleagues in the wider health sector and those affected by the outbreak, ensuring appropriate testing, advice and treatment.  

Clarification of how typhoid spreads

It is important to understand typhoid is mainly 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. No cases linked with this outbreak have emerged in the wider public population.

Members of the 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
Friday 19 May, 2017
19/05/2017

Public health responding to E. coli contamination on Waiheke

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has been notified on May 18 2017 of E coli bacteria in the water supply for two schools on Waiheke Island – Waiheke High School and Te Huruhi Primary School.

ARPHS has provided the schools with information and advice on how to respond to the situation and is liaising closely with the Ministry of Education on this issue. ARPHS will continue to work with both schools to verify that they have completed remedial actions to ensure the water supply can return to normal operation.

The role of ARPHS is to provide technical advice to schools about providing safe drinking water and how to respond to contamination incidents. Public health has not received any recent notifications of gastroenteritis among school children from medical services on the island. From the information received so far there is currently no indication of a gastroenteritis outbreak.

ARPHS website has more information on drinking water safety in the Auckland region. 
http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/healthy-environments/drinking-w

Waiheke High School and Te Huruhi School is classified as a self-supply drinking water system. The Ministry of Education and the schools take the lead role for the operation and maintenance of schools that have a self-supply water system. 
https://education.govt.nz/school/property/state-schools/day-to-day-management/drinking-water-quality/self-supplying-schools/

What is E. coli? 
https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/campylobacter-ecoli-and-salmonella

ENDS
Thursday 18 May, 2017
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has been notified of a new case of measles from recent travel overseas, and requests people watch for symptoms of measles if they have been to the following public places at the same times as the infected person.

Westfield Mall Albany
Sunday 7 May, 5.20pm to 6pm

Hobsonville Countdown
Tuesday 9 May, around 5.30pm

Ferry from Auckland City to Hobsonville Point
Monday 8 May, 6.15pm sailing
Wednesday 10 May, 5.15pm sailing

Ferry from Hobsonville Point to Auckland City
Wednesday 10 May, 8am sailing

Auckland domestic check-in and airport departure lounge
Friday 12 May, 3pm - 5.30pm


MEASLES IMMUNITY

Medical Officer of Health Dr Josephine Herman asks people who visited any of the locations within these time frames to call their doctors’ practice if they are unsure of their immune status. People are considered immune if:

  • they have already had measles 
  • they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine after their first birthday 
  • if they are born before 1969 (as they are very likely to have had measles as a child) 

HOW MEASLES IS SPREAD

Dr Herman says measles is one of the most infectious diseases and is easily spread from person to person through the air via sneezing, coughing or normal breathing. “Just being in the same room as someone with measles can be enough to catch the infection.” 


MEASLES SYMPTOMS

Measles usually begins with a high fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, followed by a rash starting behind the ears and spreading to the body a few days later.

Should anyone be infected by this person, they may start to develop symptoms from 17 - 26 May 2017. Those with symptoms should seek medical advice and keep away from public places such as school, work, childcare, malls or public transport.

If someone suspects they have measles, Dr Herman says they should call their doctors’ practice first before arriving. “Please don’t just turn up at the doctor’s as you could infect people in the waiting room.”

One in three people with measles will develop complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhoea or rarely inflammation of the brain.


PREVENTING MEASLES

The best way to prevent measles is through immunisation with two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. New Zealand provides free MMR vaccinations to all children at 15 months and four years. Those born after 1969 with only one dose of MMR are entitled to the second vaccination free of charge. Practice nurse fees may apply.

For information or advice on measles, please call Healthline on 0800 611 116 (translations available 24/7) or visit the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website
Thursday 11 May, 2017

Since 01 January 2017, Auckland Regional Public Health Service has received 79 confirmed and probable cases of mumps, with most arising in West Auckland. Almost half of these cases are aged between 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:

Wednesday 10 May, 2017

Since 01 January 2017, Auckland Regional Public Health Service has received 75 confirmed and probable cases of mumps, with most arising in West Auckland. Almost half of these cases are aged between 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 27 April, 2017

Since 01 January 2017, Auckland Regional Public Health Service has received 62 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:

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