GBS patient linked to Havelock North

By Alice Lock

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Confirmed: A man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital is positively linked to the Havelock North outbreak that occured last month. Photo/ NZ Herald.
Confirmed: A man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital is positively linked to the Havelock North outbreak that occured last month. Photo/ NZ Herald.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Public Health Team confirmed today that the man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital yesterday is linked to the Havelock North Campylobactor outbreak.

Director of Population Health, Dr Caroline McElnay, said staff had positively identified the link as the man had drunk water from Havelock North during the period of contamination where 5000 people got sick.

Dr McElnay said this was a timely reminder for anyone who was recovering from a Campylobactor infection to monitor how they were feeling and be aware of potential complications.

"While most people who get Campylobacter recover completely within two to five days, the infection can result in complications."

She said complications were rare but included Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Symptoms to look out for are muscle weakness in the legs, arms or face and Reactive Arthritis which included joint pain, commonly in the knees, ankles or toes and signs of a urinary tract infection and sore eyes.

"It is really important that you seek a health care professionals advice immediately if you have any of these symptoms after recovering from a Campylobacter infection."

She said the patient's family had requested strict privacy and they respected this.

This is the third person to be diagnosed with GBS after the outbreak.

Havelock North resident Kerry Mackintosh was one of the woman and was now suffering from reactive arthritis.

April Singh was also diagnosed with the syndrome and is still recovering from the illness at her home in Havelock North.

Hawke's Bay Hospital physician Andrew Burns had said previously Ms Singh had diarrhoea symptoms during the Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in August.

People can call Healthline which is available 24/7 on 0800-611-116 for advice.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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