A vomiting and diarrhoea bug is circulating through the Hawke's Bay community and the District Health Board is urging parents to keep sick children home.

Medical Officer of Health Rachel Eyre said the population health team was investigating a number of vomiting and diarrhoea outbreaks in the community as far north as Wairoa.

Dr Eyre said symptoms appeared to ease after about 12 hours with most people experiencing vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and general aches and pains.

"While there didn't appear to be any cause for the outbreak, which seemed to be widespread throughout Hawke's Bay, it was most likely being spread from person to person and likely to be a virus.

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Laboratory results to confirm if it was a virus were expected later this week," she said.

Dr Eyre said anyone with vomiting or diarrhoea should stay away from work and sick children should be kept home for at least 48 hours after symptoms had cleared.

Careful attention to hand washing would help prevent the bug spreading.

People with stomach bugs can be infectious after the symptoms stop and on some occasions for up to two weeks so it was important not to swim in public swimming pools for two weeks, she said.

A spokeswoman for the Hawke's Bay Hospital said while the virus was widespread in the community, there did not appear to be any admissions to hospital.