Pertussis National Outbreak

20 December 2017

Pertussis is a bacterial illness that is always circulating in the community.  However since November 2017, the Ministry of Health has declared a national outbreak due to higher than normal notifications of pertussis.

Pertussis is highly infectious and is spread by coughing and sneezing.    Pertussis can affect anyone, although statistically in our region it occurs more commonly in people under the age of 19.  Pertussis can be very serious for babies and children – especially those under 1 year old.

At this stage of the outbreak (20/12/2017) Public Health South will continue to carry out case-by-case investigations to control the outbreak, however we will also be focussing on promoting vaccination for vulnerable populations, specifically those under 1 year old or pregnant women, or anyone living or working with these groups.

Since 1st November 2017, 46 cases of suspected pertussis have been notified to us, with 18 being confirmed pertussis.  6 cases are still under investigation.  Cases have been dispersed across the region, with a higher than normal number of notifications in Queenstown Lakes area.

Below are resources that will be of interest to people suspected of having pertussis, and people who have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with having pertussis.


As the outbreak evolves, it can be expected that advice on management of pertussis might change. Please keep this link and refer back to it for up to date guidelines, advice and resources.

General Information on pertussis

Resources for Primary Care