Toi Te Ora Public Health is advising Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts there is no change to meningococcal vaccination recommendations, in light of the outbreak of (type W) in Northland.

The Ministry of Health has begun rolling out a targeted vaccination programme in Northland for children aged 9 months to 4 years and those aged 13 to 19 years.

However, in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes areas the most recent case of meningococcal disease was in September.

Toi Te Ora medical officer of health Dr Jim Miller said this week there wasn’t an outbreak in the Bay of Plenty or Lakes District Health Board areas.

“Currently the number of reported cases of meningococcal disease across our region remains within the expected range. However, we have had a change in the type of meningococcal disease that is occurring; three cases of meningococcal W have been reported this year.”

He said a vaccination programme for children and youth in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes, or elsewhere in New Zealand other than Northland had not been recommended.

Toi Te Ora Public Health is monitoring the situation closely and following up all cases of meningococcal disease in the region.

It said the outbreak in Northland was a timely reminder for members of the public to be aware of meningococcal disease and its signs and symptoms.

For more information
– Toi Te Ora Public Health – www.toiteora.govt.nz/meningococcal_disease
– Ministry of Health – www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/meningococcal
– If you or your whānau are concerned, please speak to your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116

Source: NZ Herald

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