AUCKLAND, May 28, 2019, NZ Herald. Two people, one a child, have died in Auckland as a result of influenza about a month into the flu season, reported the NZ Herald.
And the deaths have prompted an immunisation expert to relay vital information about restricting the spread of the dangerous illness.
Counties Manukau Health confirmed to the Herald a 12-year-old and a 62-year-old had both died this season from influenza.
Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner said the important message is to stop the spread of flu across the community, not individually.
“There are some people of way higher risk, people with other medical conditions, very young children or the elderly,” she said.
“Obviously, vaccination is one way [to stop the spread] and the second thing is when you’re sick to stay away from people and stay away from babies.
“Hand washing and using those hand gels really work, people who are sick should not be coughing over others, we really need a bit more social distancing.”
According to the Ministry of Health’s Immunisation Handbook 2017, children shed more virus and remain infectious longer than adults.
An infected person is contagious from one to two days before symptoms start until about day five of the illness.
The illness characteristically begins with a fever, cough and rhinitis for children aged under 5 years, while adults start with a fever, headaches and a sore throat.