Stomach bug widespread in community

More people presenting to Hawke’s Bay Hospital in the past 24 hours with a stomach bug has seen the hospital close its Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) to act as an isolation unit for people with the bug.

Since yesterday six people had been admitted to hospital and more have turned up at the Emergency Department today.

Chief medical officer for the hospital John Gommans said AAU had been closed so people who have vomiting and diarrhoea, and need hospital care, can be isolated to prevent the bug spreading to other areas of the hospital.

Dr Gommans said stomach bugs spread easily and older and younger people are often more vulnerable to dehydration and needing hospital care.

People should not visit anyone in hospital if they have had a stomach bug in the past 48 hours, as the bug can spread easily through a hospital.

None of the new presentations to hospital have come from Princess Alexandra Retirement Home where there had been previous cases. All the new cases have been from the community which indicates the virus is more widespread.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Public Health unit is urging people to take some simple precautions to help prevent catching the bug:

• Keep hands washed with soap and water
• Don’t share towels, flannels or toothbrushes
• Keep household surfaces clean
• Rinse fruit and vegetables well before eating them
• If you are ill, stay at home

For more information go to 
or call HealthLine 0800 611116 for free advice from a trained registered nurse 24/7.

21 July 2016


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