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Cattle, sheep or deer likely source of Havelock North's gastro crisis

A coroner is investigating an elderly woman's death now it has been confirmed she had campbylobacter in her system while the council hopes it will get answers soon about how the town's water supply came to be contaminated.

But answers about why it happened didn’t come today as was promised. Source: 1 NEWS

Hastings District Mayor Lawrence Yule says "a lot of resources are being thrown at this urgently to try and trace down what happened".

More than four thousand people have been struck down by gastro illness in the town.

The 89-year-old who died in Havelock North had the bug but Hawke's Bay DHB chief executive Kevin Snee says she had other significant underlying health issues.

Results of further testing out today "strongly support" water as causing the gastro bug and says the source is consistent with cattle, sheep or deer.

ESR says high level genetic analysis suggests the isolates in the outbreak are more likely from ruminants.

Businesses have been hit hard and they are getting $10,000 from the council for an ad campaign asking customers to come back while Mr Yule says the council will provide a more substantial financial package yet to be determined.

And the government's considering tax relief but won't declare a medical emergency.

The contamination got into Havelock North's water supply through bores which have been shut down indefinitely but the council still can't answer how and when that happened.

From next week the town will get its water from Hastings where it will be purified with chlorine and a new ultra violet treatment system.

Testing shows that chlorination continues to be effective at keeping the water supply clear of contamination.