The Ministry of Health is encouraging people gathering for
the festive season to protect babies from whooping cough. New
Zealand is in the middle of a whooping cough outbreak, with
more than 6700 cases since August 2011. Babies are the most
vulnerable, and could catch the disease from siblings,
parents, family members and friends.
Ministry of Health child and youth health chief adviser Pat
Tuohy said people should consider getting vaccinated against
whooping cough if they planned to be around babies in the
From January 1, pregnant women can be immunised free between
28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy to protect their baby.
A Public Health South report to the Southern District Health
Board last week said the whooping cough outbreak was less
severe in the South than elsewhere.
In the year to October 31, 184 cases were recorded, compared
with 61 for all of 2011.