As the weather gets cooler here in New Zealand, the strain on our healthcare system and personnel grows.

Flu infections have begun to rise because of the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Other infections, such as measles, whooping cough, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), could also be on the rise (RSV).

A recommitment to public health policies that reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses, as well as a fresh push for mass immunisation, will be necessary if we are to weather the approaching storm.

In late February and early March, the first omicron wave raced through New Zealand’s Aotearoa region. The decline in cases has been slower here than in many other nations, and infections have reached a nadir in all age categories.

Between the ages of 10 and 29, the number of cases has been boosted by many infections among this age group. Due to older persons’ higher likelihood of poor outcomes, they have taken the brunt of hospitalizations.

While ageism is a factor, Mori and Pasifika have also been disproportionately affected by the outbreak, both in terms of the number of people affected and the severity of their health.

Many age groups are experiencing an increase in hospitalizations and re-infections, which is in line with general trends.

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