With six cases of paratyphoid fever now confirmed, a rahui will be placed over the Napier area where the illness is thought to have stemmed from.
The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today said another case of the typhoid-like fever had been confirmed. Five confirmed cases have required hospital care at Hawke’s Bay Hospital and another has needed treatment in Auckland.
All patients are recovering with treatment.
At least three of the cases are known to have eaten mussels gathered from Napier’s Ahuriri area, and the district health board is continuing to investigate other cases.
Now, local hapu leaders are looking to put out a rāhui over the area. A rahui is a form of tapu restricting access to or use of, an area or resource by unauthorised persons.
A Ngati Kahungunu Iwi incorporated spokeswoman said they were concerned by the whanau who had been affected by the fever, and for those who could become affected if they weren’t aware of the illness.
The purpose of the rahui would be to protect our people, she said. They would be confirming more details about the rahui soon.
There was also concern mussels from the same area may have been eaten at a Tangi at the Tangoio Marae 11 days ago.
This was the tangi for former Hastings resident Vincent Taurima, who was one of two men found in Tongariro National Park after an extensive four-week search by police.
Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said Paratyphoid Fever was a serious illness and a notifiable disease.
“It’s very important people heed the warnings and don’t eat shellfish gathered from the Napier Marina area.”
People with the disease 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.
Dr Jones said the district health board had teams out in the community working 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,” Dr Jones said.
“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”.
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.
– More information on how to protect yourself and others is available from here www.ourhealthhb.nz
Source: Hawke’s Bay Today