News

13-05-2018

After almost three years of delays, the Hospital has been opened to start accepting patients, initially outpatients, surgery in another two weeks and the emergency department on June 10th,  replacing Princess Margaret Hospital

Influenza is a highly contagious infection and the leading cause of vaccine preventable hospitalisation among Australian children under 5 years of age. Children are more likely than adults to contract influenza in any given season and contribute to the transmission of influenza in the community. Almost 1500 Australian children are admitted to hospital for laboratory confirmed influenza each year. Hand washing and personal hygiene, such as not touching your nose and mouth are less likely to be practised by children and it is not possible to avoid crowds where influenza is prevalent, due to attending Day Care and Kindy. Controlled trials have demonstrated no benefit from taking remedies such as Echinacea, vitamin C and zinc. A free influenza vaccine is available for all children from 6 months of age to 5 years and those who have chronic conditions such a asthma, heart disease, impaired immunity and other chronic illnesses.

A free meningococcal ACWY vaccine is available for children aged 1 year to 4 and young people from 15 to 19 years of age through GP Clinics, Schools and Immunisation Centres. Although meningococcal infection is a rare, but serious infection, the Type W disease was responsible for an increase in the cases diagnosed in 2017.

There have been at least 10 cases of measles confirmed in Perth since mid-March 2018. Most of the cases have been infected while travelling overseas from Bali, Thailand, India and Kuala Lumpur, but some have been infected in Perth. Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease, those infected are contagious for about four days before and after the development of the rash, it is spread by droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze. The vaccine is given as part of the routine schedule at 12 and 18 months of age. There have been almost 50 deaths from measles in Europe in the past 2 years associated with outbreaks there, reminding us of the seriousness of the disease even in developed countries.

Before the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, 10 000 children were hospitalised each year with diarrhoeal illness caused by this virus.

Other rare, but serious illness for children, preventable by freely available vaccines include diphtheria, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza(Hib), mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella and tetanus. Inflections that are more commonly less serious to children, but have possible serious effects include pneumococcal infection and chicken pox. Those children travelling to less developed countries can also be protected from hepatitis A and some more.

Severe side effects from vaccines  are rare, no vaccine is completely free of potential side effects. The Western Australian Vaccine Surveillance System ( WAVSS) monitors vaccine safety in real-time, it is the central reporting service in WA for any significant adverse event following immunisation. The system allows careful and safe monitoring of immunisation reactions in WA and allows early detection and quick response as required for individuals, providers and communities.

For more details regarding the vaccines, benefits and side-effects, see:

infectiousdiseases.telethonkidsorg.au

ww2.health.wa.gov.au

for a comparison of the effects of diseases and the side-effects of vaccines

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