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Ōketopa/October 2020
Public Health Bulletin
Tēnā koutou i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.  We hope you enjoy the latest edition of Public Health Bulletin.

Healthy Active Learning

Healthy Active learning (HAL) is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Sport New Zealand. The initiative supports kura, kohanga, early learning services and schools to improve child and youth well-being through healthy eating and quality physical activity.
The Waikato Public Health Unit has recently welcomed three fantastic new facilitators, Sarah Agar, Tia Lawrence and Adela Knottenbelt, to support delivery of the Healthy Active Learning initiative across our rohe.  Collectively this team brings valuable expertise in nutrition, physical activity and mātauranga Māori. Our HAL team will be working in partnership with schools and whānau to offer tailored tautoko/support within the education setting to build on or strengthen existing kaupapa and achieve equitable health outcomes for rangatahi and tamariki across Waikato.  Nau mai, haere mai Sarah, Adela and Tia! We are excited to have you as part of the team.

Photo:Tia, Adela and Sarah the Healthy Active Learning team



Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS) Criteria

Current Ministry of Health testing guidance continues to encourage all those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to be tested. A reminder that any person with symptoms of COVID-19 who also meets the Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS) criteria, should be notified to the on call Medical Officer of Health and advised to self-isolate while awaiting results.
Individuals considered HIS are those who, in the 14 days prior to symptom onset have:
  • had contact with a confirmed or probable case
  • had international travel
  • had direct contact with a person who has travelled overseas - including Customs and Immigration staff and staff at quarantine/isolation facilities
  • worked on an international aircraft or shipping vessel
  • cleaned at an international airport or maritime port in areas visited by international arrivals
The MOoH can be notified by phone or by completing a BPAC (best practice) email notification form.

Measles Immunisation Campaign

Guardians of the Future

The national MMR immunisation campaign is rolling out across the Waikato now!  This national campaign is designed to engage rangatahi aged between 15-30 years, a group who may have missed out on their measles immunisation in childhood. Measles is a serious and highly contagious illness and is notifiable to the Medical Officer of Health. In 2019 more than 2000 people in New Zealand got measles and 700 needed to go to hospital. Over the next 12 months we will be working closely with a wide range of stakeholders and providers to reduce barriers and provide innovative ways to support our young people to be vaccinated.

For more information see:

Recreational Water

Cyanobacteria health warnings
It is common for there to be a seasonal rise of cyanobacteria levels in Waikato’s shallow lakes during the warm summer months. 
Cyanobacteria produce toxins, which are harmful to the health of humans, and animals who are exposed to the water where cyanobacteria grow.  Depending on the type and level of exposure, cyanobacteria may cause a range of symptoms or conditions including:
  • Irritation of eyes, throat and skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Respiratory illness: asthma-like symptoms, pneumonitis, pneumonia
  • Flu-like symptoms: headache, fever, malaise, myalgia
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Hepatitis
  • Neurological symptoms: visual disturbances, paraesthesia, weakness, confusion, hallucinations
Currently two of the regions lakes have a cyanobacteria health warning in place. Lakes Kainui and Waikare.   Skin contact and swallowing the water should be avoided when warnings are in place.  If people do choose to use these lakes they should shower and change their clothing as soon as possible afterwards, even if no symptoms are noticeable.
Public Health would like to be informed of anyone presenting with symptoms that may be related to exposure to toxic algal blooms.  Advice is also available from the Public Health Unit on (07) 838 2569.

Notifiable diseases - September 2020 compared to September 2019 (Waikato DHB)
COVID-19: The six cases of COVID-19 are historical cases. These cases were diagnosed retrospectively with the use of serology and were not considered infectious at the time of identification.
¹Number of cases in month of September. Source Waikato DHB.
²Waikato Year to Date (YTD) count as a proportion of national data.
Medical Officers of Health: Felicity Dumble – Richard Wall –
Richard Vipond – Richard Hoskins – Geoff Cramp
After hours:
MOoH: 021 359 650
HPO: 021 999 521
If there is no answer, please contact Waikato Hospital’s switchboard
07 839 8899 and ask for the on-call MOoH.
During office hours:
Population Health (MOoH or HPO) (07) 838 2569          
Notifications:  07 838 2569 ext. 22065 or 22020
Notifications outside Hamilton: 0800 800 977 Fax: 07 838 2382  

Past Bulletins at:
Copyright © 2020 Public Health, Waikato DHB, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Public Health
Waiora Building CBD
87 Alexandra Street,

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