Gastro crisis in Hawke's Bay still a mystery

The gastro crisis in the Havelock North area that has affected 1000-2000 people, with 22 in the hospital, still remains a mystery. Finding the source of the contaminated water continues to evade experts as a thorough investigation gets underway.

There has been a breach in the Havelock North water supply, but no one knows how.

Hastings District Council Mayor Lawrence Yule told Te Kāea, “We are going through a process of elimination as we say here today we do not know what has caused this.”

What they do know is that the campylobacter bug is in the water.

CE of the Hawkes Bay DHB Dr. Kevin Snee says, “Around 125 cases that we're very confident are very definitively campylobacter and that’s just the tip of the iceberg with hundreds more in the community.”

To help locals cope, water tankers have been brought in and the local New World is selling out of bottled water.

New World Store Manager Richard Lucas says, “We're going through about 10 pallets a day since Friday last week, that's a significant amount usually we sell about 3 - 4 boxes.”

All the schools in Havelock North are closed, with people being urged to be vigilant with hand washing and to continue boiling water. The water has been chlorinated since Friday but treatment continues.

“So we are bringing in Ultra Violet treatment which is the highest level of treatment with chlorination that will make sure that regardless of what's happened, that supply is secure,” says Major Yule.

However, the worst of it appears to be over, with Hawke's Bay DHB saying infection cases seem to be plateauing.