Four Norovirus Cases Reported in North Canterbury

Four Norovirus Cases Reported in North Canterbury – 20th November, 2016

Four people from the North Canterbury settlement of Waiau have contracted norovirus over the past two days.

Two adults and two children from three different families are affected.

All are isolated in their own homes.

In otherwise healthy individuals Norovirus, a particularly contagious gastro bug, usually resolves quickly with fluids over a period of a few days. “It can be particularly serious for frail older people and those with weak immune systems.

On the advice of the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Civil Defence have closed the Welfare Centre and communal kitchen in Waiau.

Some of the cases had visited the Welfare Centre in recent days.

“Although communal kitchens are often a vital part of an emergency response, they can also be the focus of spread of gastro bugs,” said Dr Humphrey.

“The good news is that most households in Waiau now have power and running water so families can cater for themselves at home.”

“This is a timely reminder for every community in North Canterbury that scrupulous handwashing or use of hand sanitize gel is essential to prevent the spread of gastro,” said Dr Humphrey.

If anyone in the Hurunui area needs assistance with accommodation, they should call Hurunui Civil Defence on (03) 314 8816.

“Any food that defrosted while the power was out should now be disposed of.  All hot food should be served piping hot, and all fresh meat, seafood and poultry should be kept chilled in the fridge.

“Importantly all water should be boiled before drinking, used for cooking or cleaning your teeth.

“Anyone with any gastro symptoms should definitely keep out of the kitchen,” Dr Humphrey said.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning your hands thoroughly before preparing and eating food and after you’ve been to the toilet. If you don’t have running water, use hand sanitiser to clean your hands,” he said.

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