Ten cases Paratyphoid now confirmed

Ten cases of Paratyphoid Fever have now been confirmed by Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, and a number of other cases have been tested with results still pending.

The district health board has also identified a link to another Tangi recently held in the bay.

People who attended or ate mussels from one or both of these Tangi could be affected:

  • Te Aranga Marae, Flaxmere on 28 – 30 August
  • Tangoio Marae on 11 – 13 September

A number of cases, who have had paratyphoid confirmed, have required hospital care at Hawke’s Bay Hospital, and another has needed treatment in Auckland.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said the district health board was liaising directly with each Marae, where the Tangi were held.

Dr Jones said people must heed the warning signs and not gather shellfish from the Napier Marina area.

“We have had some preliminary results back on mussels collected for sampling from the Napier Marina area on Saturday 23 September, which showed they were still contaminated. We are awaiting final results of the types of bugs, but all the mussels had e-coli which indicated they had been contaminated with faecal matter.”

People with paratyphoid will have a fever, chills, headache, possibly a rash and may also get severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Paratyphoid generally occurs within 10 days of consuming contaminated food or water but symptoms may take as long as four weeks to develop.  Anyone feeling sick and who has eaten shellfish from the Napier Marina area should contact their family doctor or they could call HealthLine 24/7 0800 611 116.

Dr Jones said the district health board had teams continuing to work out in the community to follow-up with anyone that was sick, but the most important thing was to get medical help if you, or someone you knew, was sick.

“People with paratyphoid can carry the bacteria in their blood and in their stomach and gut so it is possible for it to be passed on through faeces (poo). Hand washing was extremely important to help prevent infecting other people as you can get paratyphoid if you eat or drink things that have been handled by a person who has the bacteria,” Dr Jones said. 

The district health board was also working with Napier City Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to investigate possible causes to the outbreak

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