Gastroenteritis outbreak apparently over; community thanked

An outbreak of gastroenteritis in Southland appears to have ended as no further hospital staff or patients have been reported as affected.

The outbreak prompted Southland Hospital last Friday to advise the community to take precautions after seven staff members became sick.

Southern District Health Board Southland Hospital acting general manager Jo McLeod yesterday said the outbreak seemed to have ended.

"We would like to thank the Southland community for their understanding and responsiveness to our calls on Friday for disclosing symptoms, observing health and hygiene protocols and their consideration around visiting patients."

The hospital was still urging Southlanders to reduce the risk of further outbreaks and advised people to stay at home when they were unwell, including when with gastroenteritis.

"Please also keep up your hand hygiene — wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry well.

"Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser when out and about and remember cough and sneeze etiquette. Use tissues rather than hankies, wash your hands afterwards and cough/sneeze into your elbow."


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