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Gastric illness health board update

Health workers who responded to the gastro outbreak in Havelock North have today been praised by Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (DHB) chief executive Kevin Snee.

In a video posted on the DHB’s website, Dr Snee said the water borne outbreak had been on an unprecedented scale never before seen in New Zealand which put health resources and staff under the spotlight.

Their response was “outstanding”, he said.

“The services have been put under enormous pressure, but have coped amazingly well.

“I’ve been really impressed by the way primary care, pharmacies, St John, district nursing and all health professionals have worked together to keep people in their own homes and to cope well.

“People have gone above and beyond the call of duty to look after and care for and bring back to health people of the local community,” he said.

Media update

In a briefing to media today, Dr Snee said the DHB had 125 confirmed campylobacter notifications and 351 probables to a total of 476.

Ten patients remain in hospital on general wards and there were now no patients in intensive care. A patient admitted on Thursday into ICU had now been cleared of any links with the gastro event.

Overnight there had been no gastro-related presentations to the hospital’s emergency department.

Demand on primary care was stabilising – yesterday there were 93 visits and phone consultations, well down from the peak of 231 earlier in the week.

HealthLine was continuing to take a few calls around gastro symptoms.

Fourteen aged residential care residents were still reported as sick.

District nursing staff continue to visit people in their homes to provide support.

Pharmacies had noticed relapses which was expected, said Dr Snee.

“We are still urging residents in Havelock North to boil their water and it is very important that people use good hand hygiene measures.

“That means regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and then drying them with a clean dry towel or paper towel.”

There had been reports that some pets had also been affected by the gastro outbreak.

It is vitally important that people caring for sick animals regularly wash their hands too, he said.

The DHB continues to update its website and social media platforms with answers to frequently asked questions.

5 October 2017

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