Guillain-Barre Syndrome patient linked to Havelock North gastro outbreak

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A man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital is positively linked to the Havelock North outbreak that occurred last month. Photo/File
A man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital is positively linked to the Havelock North outbreak that occurred last month. Photo/File

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board has confirmed that the man diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in Wellington Hospital on Wednesday is linked to the Havelock North campylobactor outbreak.

Director of Population Health Dr Caroline McElnay said staff had positively identified the link because 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 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 include 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 healthcare professional's 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 is now suffering from reactive arthritis.
April Singh is still recovering from the illness at home in Havelock North.

People can call Healthline 24/7 on 0800 611 116 for advice.

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