Ten paratyphoid cases confirmed in Hawke's Bay
Ten people are confirmed to have contracted paratyphoid after a recent outbreak of the disease in Hawke's Bay, and a second tangi has been linked to the illness by health officials.
The Hawke's Bay District Health Board says anyone who attended a tangi at Te Aranga Marae, or ate mussels there, August 28-30 could be affected with the disease.
The DHB earlier linked the outbreak to mussels served at a tangi held last month at Tangoio Marae for Vincent Taurima, who died after getting lost in the Tongariro National Park.
Some of the 10 affected people were admitted to Hawke's Bay Hospital, and another was treated in Auckland. Results of further tests are still pending.
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Hawke's Bay medical officer of health Nick Jones said the DHB was liaising directly with the two marae identified.
"We have had some preliminary results back on mussels collected for sampling from the Napier Marina area on Saturday September 23, which showed they were still contaminated.
"We are awaiting final results of the types of bugs, but all the mussels had e-coli, which indicated they had been contaminated with faecal matter."
Paratyphoid is caused by a bacterium that usually spreads through food or water that has been contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.
It generally occurs within 10 days of consuming contaminated food or water, but symptoms – which can include fever, chills, headache, rash, severe vomiting and diarrhoea – may take as long as four weeks to develop.
Anyone feeling sick, and who had eaten shellfish from the Napier Marina area, should contact their family doctor or call HealthLine, Jones said.
However, Taurima's sister Ryder August, who was among those struck down with paratyphoid, cast doubts on DHB claims that mussels were to blame for the outbreak, or that the mussels at Taurima's tangi were from the marina.
"I don't eat mussels and I have contracted paratyphoid. I think they need to do further investigation to have solid proof."
She drank only water at the tangi, and said she had spoken to the group who gathered the mussels. They told her they were not from Napier Marina, but from Waipatiki Beach, near Tangoio Marae.