Controlling the spread of infectious diseases
Community and Public Health is responsible for investigating cases of infectious diseases, as well as controlling their spread within our community. The goal is to reduce future occurrences of infectious disease.
Community and Public Health compiles and reports data on infectious disease trends for our region (disease surveillance).
Staff are also prepared to deal with large local, regional or national outbreaks or health emergencies. Examples include a national flu pandemic or the threat of water-borne diseases in the Christchurch Earthquake aftermath.
Some infectious diseases must be reported
The Health Act 1956 requires medical practices and other agencies or institutions, to report the following notifiable disease types to the local Medical Officer of Health:
- Common enterics (e.g. Campylobacter, Salmonella, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Yersinia)
- Serious enteric (e.g. Typhoid, Shigella, Cholera, Paratyphoid, Listeria, Hepatitis A)
- Vaccine preventable (e.g. Measles, Mumps, Pertussis/Whooping Cough, Rubella)
- Other Serious (e.g. Meningitis, Legionella, Mosquito borne, Avian Influenza, Hepatitis B and C)
The Communicable Disease Team’s response depends on the seriousness of the disease, and could involve:
- A postal or phone questionnaire, hospital visit and/or interview
- Taking samples from an infected person to discover if they are contagious or are no longer infected.
- An investigation into the source of the infection.
- Offering preventative medication to people who have been in contact with an infected person.
Prevention is better than cure
Infectious disease prevention is also a big priority for Community and Public Health. The National Immunisation Programme for children is important in protecting against diseases such as measles. Another valuable vaccination programme is the annual influenza vaccination for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and chronically ill.
Medical Officers of Health are responsible for authorising vaccinators, and Communicable Disease staff can provide advice on immunisation issues.
Contact the Communicable Disease staff at your local office for further information:
Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169
Become an Authorised Vaccinator
Community and Public Health deals with applications and renewals for authorised vaccinators and vaccination centres.
Ministry of Health advice on Zika virus
The Ministry of Health recommends that women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near term postpone or reschedule travel to areas with Zika virus present.
Anyone travelling to any Pacific Island country or a Zika-affected country should protect themselves against mosquito bites, including women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Anyone who feels unwell after traveling overseas should call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or phone their GP or hospital prior to visiting. It is important that you inform your health care providers of any recent travel history.
Travel Health and Vaccination
Community and Public Health no longer provides information on vaccinations for overseas travel.
Contact your local medical practice or a specialist travel medicine clinic (as listed in the Medical section of the White Pages) for more information.