Latest case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome linked to Havelock's gastro outbreak



One News | NZN

It has been confirmed a third case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome is linked to the contamination of Havelock North's water supply.

A nasty bug has got into the Havelock North water supply and it has affected six schools, including two boarding schools.

Source: ONE News

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board confirms a patient in Wellington Hospital has been diagnosed with the condition following the campylobacter outbreak that hit Havelock North last month.

It has now been identified that the woman had drunk water in Havelock North during the period when the water was contaminated.

Director of Population Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, said while most people who get Campylobacter recover completely within two to five days, the infection can result in complications.

"Complications are rare but include Guillain-Barre Syndrome which includes muscle weakness in the legs, arms or face and Reactive Arthritis which includes joint pain, commonly knees, ankles and toe pain/swelling or signs of a urinary tract infection and/or sore eyes," Dr McElnay says.

"It is really important that you seek a health care professional's advice immediately if you have any of these symptoms after recovering from a Campylobacter infection.

"These symptoms may not occur until several weeks after the infection." 

A 60-year-old Blenheim man is reported to have tested positive for the syndrome after a trip to Havelock North in August while a 41-year-old local woman was last week diagnosed with the neurological disorder.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disorder where the body's immune system attacks the covering of certain nerves, damaging them.

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