A public apology was issued on Aug 15 by New Zealand’s Hastings district Mayor after thousands of people fell sick due to the outbreak of a waterborne illness.
According to Radio New Zealand, the water supply was contaminated with Campylobacter, resulting in 2000 people showing symptoms of gastroenteritis. Symptoms includes vomitting and diarrhea. 50 people taken to the emergency department at Hawke’s Bay Hospital in which 2 elderlies taken care in the intensice care unit, 18 people hospitalised (they were tested positive for Campylobacter) and there was a death of a citizen from gastro-like illness. According to Hastings District Mayor, this is the largest outbreak in the history of New Zealand. (CNN, 2016) Having elderlies hospitalised has prompted health officials to encourage the community to keep an eye out for older people living alone.(Herriman, 2016)
The mayor stated that the contamination was very serious and the contamination was mostly likely a result of animal feces finding its way to the bore. (CNN, 2016)
The council said the water is being treated but all residents should boil their tap water (BBC, 2016) because of the possibility of resitance to chlorination in the water.(Herriman, 2016)
CNN (2016) Suspected animal faeces contamination in New Zealand town water supply, inquiry launched. Available at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/suspected-animal-faeces/3044542.html (Accessed: 25 December 2016).
BBC (2016) Tap water in New Zealand town causes hundreds to fall ill. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37086445 (Accessed: 24 December 2016).
Herriman, R. (2016) Hawke’s bay outbreak update, what is Campylobacter? Available at: http://outbreaknewstoday.com/hawkes-bay-outbreak-update-what-is-campylobacter-88315/ (Accessed: 20 December 2016).
Herriman, R. (2016) Havelock north outbreak: Patient testing reveals Campylobacter in most cases. Available at: http://outbreaknewstoday.com/havelock-north-outbreak-patient-testing-reveals-campylobacter-in-most-cases-87909/ (Accessed: 25 December 2016).