To the start of this week there have been over 87,000 COVID-19 cases in Counties Manukau region. We hope we are plateauing in case numbers this week and we are looking forward to an easing up of hospitalisations in the coming weeks.
Like any illness if you have been severely unwell with COVID-19 it might take longer to recover, and you may feel tired for some time. Please gradually return to normal activity and follow the advice you are given by qualified health care professionals. It’s important that everyone who has had COVID-19 gradually return to their normal activity at a pace that is manageable to them.
Working with our international colleagues we know most people who have had COVID-19 do fully recover. However, there is evidence emerging that some people might experience some on-going symptoms such as tiredness or fatigue, some shortness of breath, headaches, low moods and difficulty concentrating to name a few. Referred to as long COVID, research is ongoing, and treatment involves managing the symptoms that affect the individual most. Please talk to your GP, Medical Centre or Healthline for advice on how to manage any lingering symptoms of COVID-19 that you or your whaanau might be experiencing.
This pandemic has been challenging to all our lives, and it has been disruptive to some of our healthcare plans. One very concerning issue for our community has been the increase in the number of Tamariki from new-borns to five-year olds who are behind in their childhood immunisations. Please check your records and contact your Doctor or Medical Centre as we know 1 in 10 of our young Tamariki have missed their childhood immunisations in the last 12 months. These children are at risk of becoming very unwell with diseases that are preventable like measles, mumps and rubella.
We hope to commence planning for the return of some non-time critical clinics and surgery later this week as we enter our second week of deferring planned care in response to the Omicron case number surge. When this happens, outpatient and surgery clinics will be contacting people to reschedule appointments and progress all surgery and clinics that have been deferred.
During this pandemic our commitment to support health science students studying to become health professionals has continued and now is a great time to be considering health as a long-term career. These last two years have been the most challenging period of my career, but it has also been an incredibly rewarding time. Please consider health science studies and a career in health. Please review our careers website and come join us!
Kia noho haumaru. Keep safe.
Dr Andrew Connolly
Chief Medical Officer