Influenza like illness circulating in Hawke’s Bay

Flu-like illness is circulating in Hawke’s Bay, primarily amongst seasonal fruit picking workers.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said close to 80 seasonal workers from the Pacific had experienced flu-like illness. One was hospitalised and has since been discharged.

Two cases have been confirmed as having H1N1, which was a flu strain that had been circulating since 2009.

The district health board was closely managing the situation and working with Hastings Health Centre and other primary care organisations to monitor if the infection became more widespread. 

Dr Jones said people in the wider community needed to be aware that flu was circulating in the community so they took precautions; such as regular hand-washing and staying home if they became ill.

If anyone experienced flu- like symptoms such as fever, aches and pains they should stay home and if their symptoms progressed and worsened they should call their GP or Healthline. If it was an emergency they should call 111.  

Influenza is highly contagious and people with flu can spread it to others up to two metres away. 

If you feel unwell you can help reduce the spread of the virus by:

• Staying at home if you are unwell.

• Covering your cough or sneeze using disposable tissues.

• Regularly washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water, and then dry your hands with a clean dry towel or paper towel.

• If you become concerned or your illness is getting worse call your GP or local medical centre or call HealthLine 0800 611 116

* If it’s an emergency call 111


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