Protect against whooping cough

Whooping cough is around and it can be dangerous. Know how to protect the staff and children in your ECE service or kōhanga reo.

Getting vaccinated

The best protection against whooping cough is vaccination. You can ask parents to have their children vaccinated. It’s free for all children.

To find out how to get the vaccination, go to the Immunisation Advisory Centre website(external link) or call 0800 466 863.

Knowing whooping cough

Whooping cough usually starts with a runny nose and an annoying cough. This lasts for around 2 weeks.

It then moves into violent coughing, which may end with vomiting and have a 'whooping' sound. A person can have the illness for a long time. It’s also known as the '100-day cough' because of the length of the illness.

Both adults and children can get whooping cough.

How it spreads

Whooping cough spreads when someone with it coughs or sneezes, spreading the fluid into the air and onto surfaces, where it can be picked up by others.

Highly infectious

Someone with whooping cough can be infectious from the early stages of having a runny nose right through to 3 weeks after the fits of coughing.

Children with whooping cough

If you suspect that a child has whooping cough, you can insist that the parents take them to a doctor. They should return to your ECE service or kōhanga reo only when they have been cleared by the doctor.

Staff with whooping cough

Any staff with a persistent cough should see their doctor and stay away from the ECE service or kōhanga reo until the doctor is sure it is not whooping cough.

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