Tummy Bug Hits New Zealand’s Havelock North
An interim scientific analysis revealed that cattle and other four-legged farm animals may be behind the gastro outbreak that made thousands sick in New Zealand’s Havelock North.
The testing which was launched by the country’s Institute of Environmental Science and Research “suggests the isolates from reticulated water, from clinical cases linked to this water or in a cluster suggesting a common source, are consistent with ruminant source such as cattle, sheep or deer.”
In addition, ESR said its tests linked many of the sick people from the Havelock North outbreak with campylobacter jejuni strains found in the water.
The tests confirmed that poultry manure is not one of the culprits of the outbreak.
ESR added, “These genotypes are not consistent with a poultry source. Isolates from the bore sample are most closely related to wildfowl isolates.”
The results of the test were published by the Hastings District Council.
A ripple of fear swept through the town of Hawke’s Bay as a gastro bug sickened around 4,000 people with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, muscle pain and fever from drinking the contaminated town water.
Prior to the published reports from ESR, reports made headlines that the tummy bug was caused by contaminated water that tested positive for E coli. Many even suspected that the contamination was caused by animal faeces in the water.
Hastings District Council Responds to the Crisis
With the help of Red Cross and civil defence, the residents of Havelock North received bottled water supplies, toilet paper and nappies.
In addition, Hastings district council stationed nine water tankers around the town for people to collect free and safe water.
The council also told residents to dump any water collected from a tanker stationed at a local school for it is positive E coli contamination
Local authorities advised Havelock North residents to boil all water.