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Gastro cases in Waiau but none in Kaikoura

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016

Two adults and two children from three different families in quake-hit Waiau have contracted norovirus during the past two days.

Civil Defence has closed the welfare centre and communal kitchen in the North Canterbury settlement on the advice of the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey.

Some of the people had visited the centre in recent days and all are now isolated in their own homes.

Norovirus usually resolves quickly with fluids over a period of a few days but can be serious for frail older people and those with weak immune systems.

There have been no reported cases of gastro in the Kaikoura area.

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

"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," he said.

Any food that had defrosted while the power was out should 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.

Hands should be cleaned thoroughly before preparing and eating food, and after going to the toilet.

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