Whooping cough danger by alendar


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									PAGE 14 - “THE STAR”, Tuesday, June 23, 2009

                             Whooping cough danger                                                            permanent brain damage.                                be running an immunisation month in October
                                                        By Matt Dunn
                                                                                                                   South Gippsland General Practice Alliance         where we’re going to focus on whooping cough a
                                                                                                              immunisation co-ordinator Jo Hillbrick, said           lot more,” she said.
                                                        LOCAL medicos are urging parents to                   mothers and fathers should get immunised in hos-           “Whooping cough is a big problem in Gipps-
                                                        immunise themselves against the viru-                 pital after their children were born.                  land. Vaccinations only last about 10 years, which
                                                        lent pertussis (whopping cough) virus,                     Parents are the most common source of infec-      is why they recommend it for teenagers once the
                                                        as it takes hold in South Gippsland.                  tion for babies. Babies can not be immunised un-       initial childhood one wears off,” she said.
                                                           And although extra supplies of the immu-           til they are at least eight weeks of age.                  Leongatha Healthcare partner Tim Linton
                                                        nisation drug Boostrix are unavailable to local            “About 64 per cent of babies who catch            said the practice was “pleased to hear of the State
                                                                                                              whooping cough get it from their parents. It’s         Government’s initiative on pertussis.
                                                        chemists and medical clinics, the Department of
                                                                                                              a real issue, especially for the younger babies            “The current difficulty is that there is a
                                                        Human Services assured The Star there was no
                                                                                                              before the vaccination actually kicks in,” she         significant problem in accessing supplies, as the
                                                        problem with access.                                  said.                                                  local pharmacies do not have stock. We hope that
                                                           “We wouldn’t be going out with this cam-                “It can be a really nasty disease for young ba-   this will change soon,” Dr Linton said.
                                                        paign for new parents if we didn’t have ac-           bies. They literally cough until they can’t breathe.       The clinic received 10 doses of Boostrix the
                                                        cess to the vaccine. It’s been sought and deliv-      So they have these periods where they’re not           other day, while Nagel’s Pharmacy manager,
Bound to protect: first time mother Sara                 ered to GPs and hospitals, maternity hospitals        breathing, so their brains aren’t getting any oxy-     Brett Nagel said he had waited several weeks for
Donohue, who is 26 weeks pregnant, will                 and other hospitals with maternity wards,” a          gen. That is the worst case scenario.”                 an order to be filled.
                                                        spokesman said.                                            Gippsland has always been a hotspot for the           Dr Linton said a number of new cases had
heed the call of South Gippsland General
                                                           “They’ve being ordering it and getting what        virus, but there is scant information as to why.       presented at the clinic.
Practice Alliance immunisation co-ordinator
                                                        they need. It’s certainly out there.”                      “There’s no research really saying why, but           For further information contact your local GP,
Jo Hillbrick (background), to be immunised                 The disease is particularly dangerous to young     it just seems to be very prevalent in Gippsland.       or General Practice Alliance immunisation co-
against whooping cough.                                 children and can kill babies or leave them with       And it has been like that for a few years. We’ll       ordinator Jo Hillbrick on 5674 0900.

                                                                    Advertisement                                                                            The whooping cough facts
                                                                                                                                                             PERTUSSIS (whooping cough) can be caught

                                                                                                                                                             through coughs and sneezes from an infected
                                                                                                                                                                 It is a highly contagious disease that affects the air
                                                                                                                                                             passages and breathing.
                                                                                                                                                                 The disease causes severe coughing spasms. Between
                                                                                                                                                             these spasms, the patient gasps for breath. Coughing
                                                                                                                                                             spasms are often followed by vomiting and the cough
                                                                                                                                                             can last for months.
                                                                                                                                                                 It can lead to complications such as haemorrhage,
                                                                                                                                                             convulsions, pneumonia, coma, inflammation of the
                                                                                                                                                             brain, permanent brain damage, long term lung damage,
                                                                                                                                                             and death.
                                                                                                                                                                 Babies are at risk from birth as no pertussis protection
                                                                                                                                                             is passed from mother to newborn infant.

                                                     EDUCATION                                                                                                   Complete immunisation of children remains the most
                                                                                                                                                             effective measure to control pertussis.
                                                                                                                                                                 Pertussis vaccination is offered as part of the Nation-

                                                      TAXforget to claim                                                                                     al Immunisation Program for children at two, four, six
                                                                                                                                                             months, at four years and in Year 10 of secondary school
                                                                                                                                                             (or 15 years of age).
                                                      Don’t                                                                                                      A child who has received less than three doses of a
                                                                                                                                                             pertussis containing vaccine should be considered at risk
                                                                                                                                                             of pertussis.
                                                                                                                                                                 People become immune either through pertussis im-
                                                                                                                                                             munisation or by catching the disease itself, but protec-
                                                                                                                                                             tion is not life-long and begins to wane after 6-10 years.
                                                                                                                                                             Sometimes immunised people still contract pertussis, but
                                                                                                                                                             they are likely to have a less severe illness.
                                                                                                                                                                 (Source: DHS)

                                                                                                                                                               Cash kept
                                                                                                                                                               BASS Coast’s Cr Gareth Barlow is amazed
                                                                                                                                                               at the amount of money staff are able to
                                                                                                                                                               save following an edict from councillors.
                                                                                                                                                                   Each month, staff are to report on ways they have
                                                                                                                                                               altered the way things are done to save money.
                                                                                                                                                                   “Month after month staff have managed to save
                                                                                                                                                               money,” said Cr Barlow, adding the edict (which has
                                                                                                                                                               been in place for some time) had exceeded all expec-
                                                                                                                                                                   The most recent saving was reported by the corpo-
                                                                                                                                                               rate services department.
                                                                                                                                                                   Until the middle of last year, council had 13 file
                                                                                                                                                               servers at the heart of the computer system. Through
                                                                                                                                                               a combination of software, hardware and file server
                                                                                                                                                               processors, the 13 ageing file servers have been con-
                   The Australian Government’s Education Tax Refund means                                                                                      solidated into two purpose-built file servers and a
                   you could get 50% back on a range of your children’s education                                                                              special data storage unit.
                   expenses – for eligible items bought before 1 July, 2009.                                                                                       Over the next three years, this is estimated to save
                                                                                                                                                               a total of $134,000.
                   It’s a refund of up to $375 for each primary school child and $750 for each secondary school child. You can claim
                                                                                                                                                                   It also means that in the event of disaster at the
                                                                                                                                                               main council offices, only the paired file servers need
                   expenses like textbooks, stationery, educational software and even computers, printers and internet costs.                                  to be re-established instead of the 13, which would
                   You are eligible if you receive Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for a child at school or a payment was made for the                          take about two days per server.
                   child that prevented you from receiving FTB Part A such as Youth Allowance. You can claim the refund on your
                   tax return. If you don’t need to lodge a tax return you can still claim, so be sure you keep your receipts and claim                       New centre committee
                   from 1 July 2009.
                                                                                                                                                             THE Venus Bay community centre held its
                   To find out more visit                                                                                                                     first annual general meeting as an incorporated
                   australia.gov.au/educationtaxrefund                                                                                                       body last month and elected a new committee.
                   or call 13 28 61                                                                                                                             South Gippsland shire councillor Kieran Kennedy,
                                                                                                                                                             who is a Venus Bay resident and represents the shire on
                                                                                                                                                             the committee, said the new committee had a big chal-
                                                                                                                                                             lenge ahead to build on the work of the past two years.
                                                                                                                                                                The new office bearers are chairperson Helen Macrae,
                                                                                                                                                             deputy chairperson Roger Watkin, treasurer Bruno Tren-
                                                                                                                                                             ning, deputy treasurer Liane Goldsmith, secretary Don
                                                                                                                                                             Kennedy, deputy secretary Annie McBain and public of-
                                                                                                                                                             ficer Jan Wallbridge.
                                       Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra.                                                         Committee members are Val Atwell, Annette Watkin,
                                                                                                                                                             Nathan McGrath, Amanda McGrath and Norman Finck.

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