Contamination from Cow, Sheep, Deer Causes New Zealand Gastro Outbreak

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.

water contaminated by animals caused gastro bug.
Woman suffering from a gastro bug.

Previous Findings

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.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.