Kapi-Mana News : July 19th 2011
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Call us today! 04 801 5621 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org www.jmlaw.co.nz JOHN MILLER LAW we also deal with criminal law queries NOW IN PORIRUA ACC NOT WORKING FOR YOU? Vaccine urged as flu season starts By KAROLINE TUCKEY ' It [the spread of influenza] will definitely be lower than 2009. The Wellington region wasn't super-big last year because we'd had such a big year in 2009. I doubt whether it'd be bigger than last year. ' -- Tim Blackmore Influenza season has begun to make its impact felt in the com- munity and experts are urging people to get vaccinated. Capital & Coast District Health Board infectious diseases physician Tim Blackmore says the number of flu cases in the community usually rises steeply from mid-to-late June, and any- one not yet vaccinated should get in quickly, before they catch the bug. CCDHB figures show consult- ations for flu-like symptoms were more than twice the national average in the Welling- ton region in the past few weeks, but this season was unlikely to be a bad one for influenza, Dr Blackmore said. The wide spread of the swine flu H1N1 virus in 2009 had pro- vided immunity to the same strain and some closely related ones, he said. It will definitely be lower than 2009. The Wellington region wasn t super-big last year because we d had such a big year in 2009. I doubt whether it d be bigger than last year. But reducing the virus in the community was a long-term fight, and vaccination was important for protecting people vulnerable to the virus, which could be deadly in extreme cases, he said. We want people to be protect- ed against influenza so they don t get sick and spread it. Most people in the community are not vulnerable to the flu, but children and the elderly are among those who are. About two or three cases of influenza a day were being identified through Wellington Hospital laboratories, he said, but this only represented cases severe enough to be hospitalised, since general practitioners do not routinely take samples in suspected flu cases. Some are children, some adults. Many are H3 [strain] and one or two influenza B, and none of the [H1N1] pandemic flu from last year. Dr Blackmore compared the risk of going without the vaccine to the risk of crossing the road without looking -- you might get away with it once, but it is wiser to take precautions like looking first because the more you do it, the more likely you are to get hit. It s a very safe vaccine. It s common to get a bit of achiness or a sore arm, but it s very unusual to get anything more than that, he said. Until July 31 the influenza vaccination is free for people at risk of complications -- anyone with long-term health con- ditions, those aged over 65 and pregnant women. Community doctors have stocks of the vaccine on hand, so patients do not have to attend a special clinic. The vaccine takes about 14 days to build up to its full effect in the body, and gets more effective each consecutive year a patient has it, he said. Storms blow in birds Storms wreaking havoc around the lower North Island have blown sea- birds inland to areas they are not typically seen, including many spot- ted by Porirua residents on Mana Esplanade last week. Storms are bringing in dozens and dozens of seabirds inland, Con- servation Department biodiversity programme manager Peter Simpson said last week. With wild weather expected to con- tinue, DOC is asking members of the public to help with the recovery effort. If people are keen to help, the best thing they can do for these birds is to put them in a box and return them to the water s edge as soon as they can, Mr Simpson said. He said there was no need to intervene in any other way, includ- ing feeding or heating the birds, as that was likely to put the bird under more stress. It is thought many of the birds will be young- er birds, fledged last spring, which are inex- perienced and not used to navigating stronger winds. The majority of the birds DOC is getting calls about are smaller common seabirds such as prions and petrels, which are numerous around coastal New Zealand and spend the majority of their time at sea. Mr Simpson noted that this was a phenomenon that happened during strong storms, but usually occurred away from the public eye out at sea. They must be some pretty strong winds to bring these birds ashore. For birds with obvious injuries DOC is asking people to call their hotline, 0800 362 468.
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