Respiratory Syncytial Virus - measures and advice given to schools
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From: Francis Phan
Dear Ministry of Health,
I am making this request under the Official Information Act seeking information regarding:
1. Whether the Ministry of Health has considered measures to reduce or suppress the spread of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whether it has informed, advised or recommended such measures to the Government.
2. Whether the Ministry of Health has considered measures to reduce or suppress the spread of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whether it has informed, advised or recommended such measures to the Government as of 7 July 2021.
3. Specifically, the date, if any, when the Ministry of Health or Canterbury DHB informed or advised schools and kura in the Christchurch City area, and what content it has informed such schools and kura regarding the RSV virus, including information for parents.
If for reasons it is not feasible to give an answer to this question (3), please instead answer question (3b) as below.
3b. Specifically, the date, if any, when the Ministry of Health or Canterbury DHB informed Ilam School (Christchurch), and what content it has informed Ilam School regarding the RSV virus, including information for parents.
4. The reason why information about the RSV virus has not been published on the Ministry’s website, as well as any campaign materials (advertisements, brochures, etc.) as of 7 July 2021 despite the already significant scale of the outbreak.
Thank you very much in advance.
University of Canterbury
From: OIA Requests
Kia ora Francis
Thank you for your email.
As RSV is a respiratory virus, the best protection is much the same as for COVID-19: physical distancing, wearing masks, keeping sick children home from daycare or kindergarten, and increased hygiene measures such as hand washing.
The Ministry of Health’s advice on RSV is available at: www.health.govt.nz/your-health/condition...
Advice is also provided on the Health Navigator website (supported by DHBs) at: www.healthnavigator.org.nz/health-a-z/r/....
It may be useful to know that RSV is a very common winter infection; almost all children will have had an RSV infection by the age of two. Routine measures are in place in District Health Boards (DHBs) to address capacity issues due to common winter illnesses such as RSV.
District health boards (DHB) and local Medical Officers of Health, rather than the Ministry of Health, implement measures and advise communities at the regional level. The Ministry of Health coordinates outbreak responses, in particular surveillance and communications, at the national level once they are no longer limited to particular DHB areas. Requests concerning the operations of Canterbury DHB are best directed to Canterbury DHB.
Office of the Director-General
Ministry of Health
E: [email address]