Hawke’s Bay District Health Board issued a public health alert Saturday after dozens of cases of gastrointestinal disease reported linked to the Havelock North water supply.


Eight people were hospitalized due to their illness, One death was reported; however, it has not been determined whether the cause of the GI illness was the cause of death.

Water testing has confirmed the Havelock North water supply is likely to be the source of the gastro outbreak, but the type of bug is not yet known

Hastings District Council chlorinated the water Friday (12th August) afternoon. Chlorination is effective at killing most bugs, however Havelock North residents should boil water for one minute before drinking it until the type of bug is confirmed.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said while the type of bug was not yet known information on prevention and treatment remained the same.

“As a significant precautionary measure we encourage everyone in the Havelock North area to boil water over the weekend or until the cause of the outbreak is determined. Results are expected early in the week,” Dr Jones said.

Symptoms of the illness being reported were diarrhoea and influenza like symptoms; headaches, muscle pain, fever and feeling generally unwell. Symptoms could last up to 10 days but would usually get better without antibiotics.