HEALTH: Pottsville Beach Primary School parents were alerted by the school last week about a student who was diagnosed with whooping cough.
HEALTH: Pottsville Beach Primary School parents were alerted by the school last week about a student who was diagnosed with whooping cough.

Parents told not to worry about whooping cough despite scare

TWEED parents have been told they can rest easy despite an outbreak of whooping cough among primary school students in the region.

Parents were put on high alert last week when a Pottsville Beach Primary School student was diagnosed with whooping cough, the same day about 15 students across the border at a Palm Beach primary school were also diagnosed with the infection.

Parents took to social media to warn others to keep an eye on their children's health fearing a spike in whooping cough cases in the region.

But a spokesman for the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) said Tweed parents need not be overly concerned, with latest figures showing high rates of immunisation in the shire.

The latest Australian Immunisation Register quarterly report reveals immunisation in the Tweed Shire in June 2018 was slightly higher than the rest of the health district, with 91.7 per cent of five-year-olds and 89.6 per cent of 12-month-olds being fully vaccinated.

This compares to a slightly lower average vaccination rate of 90.5 per cent for five-years-olds and 88.2 per cent for 12-month-olds in the district.

NNSWLHD Public Health Unit director Paul Corben said there'd actually been a very low rate of reported whooping cough cases in recent time, with figures showing between one and six cases recorded during the June quarter.

"Notifications of whooping cough cases in the Tweed Local Government Area have been low in the past month and are similar to the number reported in the same period in recent years,” Mr Corben said.

"The North Coast Public Health Unit works closely with schools to identify and manage cases of whooping cough among their student populations, however even in highly vaccinated populations it is not possible to eliminate whooping cough.”

The NSW Government is continuing to roll-out its $22.75 million state-wide immunisation programs this year.



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