Northlanders continue to come forward with symptoms they believe are related to a batch of contaminated cream produced by the dairy giant Fonterra.
The company recalled 8700 bottles of cream distributed in the upper North Island after tests earlier this week found E.coli bacteria were present. Tests are continuing to determine whether the E.coli found was a harmless strain or a nastier, disease-causing type. The results could be known late this afternoon.
The suspect cream is marketed under the Pam's and Anchor brands in 300 and 500ml bottles in four batches with a "best before" date of January 21. It was delivered to 43 supermarkets and grocery stores across Northland as well as a number of dairies and other outlets.
Three people have contacted the Advocate to say they or family members had fallen ill after eating cream. However, as of yesterday, all were still waiting to hear the results of tests to determine the cause of their illness.
A Kensington, Whangarei, woman said her father - who was in his 40s and known in the family for his "iron gut" - came down with hot and cold sweats and bad diarrhoea on Monday night. He was back at work yesterday after two days in and out of the bathroom.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said it was unusual for her father to be sick or take time off work. He was mystified until he saw an item on the news about the recall.
He was the only member of the family to fall ill and the only one who ate cream, using it on his porridge each morning. He was still waiting for test results yesterday.
The woman called on the company to "get it sorted".
"First it was the scare with botulism, which turned out to be nothing, and now this. Twice in six months is not a good look."
Marissa Beesley, of Auckland, had been visiting relatives in Kaitaia when her 5-year-old daughter and 6-month-old baby Ella Rose fell ill last Saturday after eating dessert topped with cream. Her baby was "screaming with pain", she said.
Ms Beesley said a GP who assessed Ella Rose believed an E.coli infection was responsible but, at that stage, it was not clear where the bacteria could have come from.
She told the Advocate yesterday she was still waiting for test results and that her baby had never been so sick before.
A Fonterra spokesman said so far 17 people had contacted the company to say they had become ill after eating cream. However, only four of those had eaten cream from the potentially contaminated batches.
The company was following up with the Beesley family while tests were carried out.
Northland District Health Board medical officer of health Clair Mills said the region's GPs and hospitals had been alerted, but there had been no spike in reports of illnesses caused by E.Coli.
The advice for anyone with mild diarrhoea was to keep up their fluids. They were likely to recover in 4-5 days.
Anyone with severe diarrhoea - especially babies, young children, the elderly or people with other medical problems - should seek their GP's advice.
The main danger was dehydration but some people affected by the invasive type of E.coli could develop a life-threatening kidney complication.