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Boil drinking water notice remains in HN

Gastro illness in Havelock North continues to be widespread in the town with accident and medical Centres, pharmacies and St John all reporting increased numbers overnight.

Hawke’s Bay Hospital is also seeing increased presentations of people with vomiting and diarrhoea. Fifteen people presented overnight and one person was admitted.

The boil water notice for Havelock North residents’ remains in place today however chlorination of the water supply seems to have been effective and is now throughout the Havelock North water supply. The boil notice will remain in place until the exact type of bug in the water is known, which is expected to take several days.

Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said testing of sick people had identified that the majority of the illness being reported was campylobacter, but water testing results were needed to confirm that as the only bug in the Havelock North town’s water supply before the boil water notice could be removed.

Campylobacter can’t be spread through the air but it can be spread if you swallow the bacteria. This may be from contaminated water and food, or from contact with infected people, so hand washing is extremely important. Hands need to be washed thoroughly by using plenty of soap, cleaning under fingernails, rinsing hands well and drying on a clean towel:

 before and after preparing food

 after going to the toilet or changing a baby’s nappy

 after caring for people with campylobacter

 after playing or working with animals

Symptoms of the illness being reported were diarrhoea and influenza like symptoms; headaches, muscle pain, fever and feeling generally unwell. Symptoms could last up to 10 days but would usually get better without antibiotics.

Two pharmacies in Havelock North, Gilmour Pharmacy and Denton’s Pharmacy, are open today to provide more information and support for people should it be needed.

Children and older people are most at risk of dehydration and fluids, while the diarrhoea lasted, was very important. More information is available HERE or people can call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice 24/7 from a trained registered nurse.

For information on the water supply contact Hastings District Council call 06 871 5000.

5 October 2017

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