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Gastro Illness in Havelock North Update

Monday 15th August

Presentations to accident and medical centres continue to increase. Yesterday 183 people presented to a GP and Hawke’s Bay Hospital had 11 people present overnight, two were admitted.

Hawke’s Bay Hospital now has 19 patients that have been admitted into hospital for further care and two people who remain in a critical condition in Intensive Care.

All of the results back from people who have the bug and who have been tested are positive for campylobacter however the boil notice will remain in place until we are confident there is no other bug resistant to chlorination in the water, which is expected to take several days.

Hastings District Council would like to assure the community that water throughout the Flaxmere and Hastings areas is clear of any contaminants and these areas are isolated from the Havelock North water supply.

The chlorination of the Havelock North supply continue to eliminate the campylobacter bug.

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

Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said gastroenteritis bugs like campylobacter affected older and younger people much more severely and older people needed to seek medical help early on if they weren’t getting better or couldn’t keep fluids down. The same applied to young children. Healthline is available 24/7 for advice 0800 611 116, from a registered nurse.

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.

Children and older people were most at risk of dehydration and fluids, while the diarrhoea lasted, was very important. More information is available from http://www.ourhealthhb.nz/assets/News-and-Event-files/HE1211-Campylobacter-WEB.pdf or people could also 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

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Anna Kirk

Anna.kirk@hbdhb.govt.nz

Communication Manager

Hawke's Bay District Health Board

Telephone: (06) 873 2150 or (027) 234 3667

5 October 2017

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