Southern DHB is advising the public the risk of contracting gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting) due to the water quality issues in central Dunedin is low.
Dr Reid said: “It is important to keep in mind that the situation here in Dunedin is not at all similar to other recent waterborne outbreaks in New Zealand.”
“The risk is confined to the people who drank water in the affected area only,” says Public Health South Medical Officer of Health, Dr Keith Reid. “There have not been any tests which show that bugs were present in the water supply at any time as a consequence of this incident.” Dr Reid added that “Mild gastroenteritis is not uncommon but it’s usually not caused by waterborne bugs and it usually clears up by itself.”
If members of the public are concerned about gastroenteritis symptoms they should seek advice from Healthline, their GP or after hour’s doctor in the first instance.
Public Health South’s monitoring of gastroenteritis shows that there has not been an increase in gastroenteritis in the Dunedin area. The usual level of notified bacterial gastroenteritis in Dunedin is less than one case per day and of protozoal illness (waterborne parasites) less than one case a week.
Southern DHB is still running an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in response to the boil water notice issued by the DCC for the central Dunedin area, which includes Dunedin Hospital.
The DHB continues to monitor and manage its operations in light of these water issues and will provide further updates if required.