WELCOME TO THE WESTERN BAY OF PLENTY PRIMARY HEALTH ORGANISATION

URU MAI KI TE KOKORU URU O TE NUI PHO

The Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation supports healthy lifestyles and quality health care services in our local communities. We provide funding to 31 general practices in the Bay of Plenty.

Coronavirus Alert

If you have travelled to, or via China since 2 February 2020 you are advised to self-isolate and avoid contact with other people for 14 days. You are also advised to register with Healthline on a dedicated 0800 number specifically for health-related calls about coronavirus, phone 0800 358 5453. Healthline staff will check on your welfare and wellbeing while in self-isolation.

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means any situation where you may come in close contact with others (face to face contact closer than one metre for more than 15 minutes), such as social gatherings, work, school, childcare centres, university, faith-based gatherings, aged care and healthcare facilities, prisons, sports gatherings, restaurants, and all public gatherings.

If you have come into contact with someone who has recently returned from China and have a fever, are coughing and have difficulty breathing, make telephone contact with your General Practice as soon as possible, advise of your symptoms and arrange an appropriate appointment where you can be safely seen without causing risk to others.

 

Background

New Zealand officials say it’s highly likely a new coronavirus called COVID-19 will arrive in the country as its spread around the world continues.

Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which include the common cold. Symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and since then has infected more than 75,000 people and killed at least 2120 (as at 20 February 2020) with eight deaths reported outside of mainland China. Hong Kong and Iran have each reported two deaths from coronavirus. Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and France have each reported one death.

Scientists don’t yet know how COVID-19 is transmitted to people, but it’s likely that it comes from an animal. There is evidence that COVID-19 can spread from person to person in the community and in healthcare settings.

As of 2 February 2020, entry to New Zealand will be denied to anyone who has left or transited through mainland China from 2 February 2020, with the exception of:

  • New Zealand citizens (including people from Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
  • Air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

New Zealand’s pandemic plan has been activated and the virus is now a notifiable disease that has to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health.

 

What should you do to stay safe?

People who have travelled to, or via China since 2 February 2020 are advised to self-isolate and avoid contact with other people for 14 days.

You are also advised to register with Healthline on a dedicated 0800 number specifically for health-related calls about coronavirus, phone 0800 358 5453. Healthline staff will check on your welfare and wellbeing while in self-isolation. Nearly 4000 people in New Zealand have registered.

All travellers to New Zealand who become sick within a month of their arrival are being encouraged to seek medical advice and contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or a doctor and share their travel history.

As with all respiratory illnesses, people can take steps to reduce their risk of infection. This includes regularly washing hands, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze, staying home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

 

For more information about COVID-19 visit the following health sites:

Toi Te Ora Public Health

Ministry of Health

World Health Organization

Measles Vaccine Update

There have been no confirmed cases of measles in the Bay of Plenty since 1 January 2020, however gaps still remain in our communities’ protection against measles.

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation is available from your family doctor or practice nurse if you or your child need to be immunised – it’s never too late to catch up.

Alternatively, there are a number of pharmacies throughout the Bay of Plenty offering free MMR immunisation for people aged 16 to 49. For a detailed list visit the Toi Te Ora Public Health website.

The Government has announced a new immunisation programme that will see 15 to 29-year-olds (a group with low immunisation rates) receive a free MMR vaccine via places such as schools and marae. More than 350,000 additional MMR vaccines are earmarked for the campaign, and are expected to arrive in New Zealand in April 2020.

To help keep you up-to-date while the situation with measles continues to evolve, the Ministry of Health has set up a webpage as a ‘one-stop shop’ with advice, including about travelling to areas with measles outbreaks and immunising children aged under 12 months.

IT IS IMPORTANT IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE MEASLES SYMPTOMS THAT YOU CALL YOUR GP RATHER THAN ATTEND IN PERSON.

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Western Bay of Plenty PHO is committed to achiev­ing equity of health outcomes for Māori.