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Wellington: Flu

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    Posted: August 23 2018 at 12:51am
Wellington school flu outbreak prompts plea to keep sick kids at home
Ruby Macandrew20:14, Aug 22 2018

A late-season influenza outbreak is tearing through Wellington schools, with parents being urged to keep sick children at home for up to a week.

Regional Public Health has issued a warning to schools and early childhood centres in the region after flu cases surged in recent weeks.

Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) has also seen an increase in flu-related presentations at Wellington Regional Hospital's emergency department.

Nationally, doctors visits and calls to Healthline have increased over the past week, mirroring reports of a flu spike signalled by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) on Sunday.

While flu and other respiratory virus activity remained unseasonably low in New Zealand, activity was slowly increasing as winter dragged on.

The school flu spike has come as the work of ESR scientists was published in international medical journal, Vaccine.

In collaboration with US researchers, the study - which was conducted over four flu seasons in Auckland - showed that adults who had the influenza vaccine were 32 per cent less likely to develop severe influenza requiring hospitalisation.

The study also showed that a flu shot was even more effective in preventing the most severe forms of flu and reduced the risk of being admitted to intensive care units by 82 per cent.

ESR scientist Sue Huang said the study added to the growing body of evidence that supports vaccination as a means of preventing more serious flu outcomes.

"It shows vaccination is the best available way to prevent flu and its potentially serious consequences."

Source and video:   https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/106476577/school-flu-outbreak-prompts-plea-to-keep-sick-kids-at-home
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