A flu-like illness is still circulating amongst Hawke's Bay's seasonal fruit picking workers.

Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said in a statement close to 80 seasonal workers from the Pacific Island's had experienced flu-like illness.

One was hospitalised and has since been discharged.

Two cases have been confirmed as having H1N1, which was a flu strain that had been
circulating since 2009.


Most of the sick workers are in New Zealand on the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, which allows horticulture and viticulture employers to hire staff from overseas if there are not enough New Zealand workers.

The district health board was closely managing the situation and working with Hastings Health Centre and other primary care organisations to monitor if the infection becomes more widespread.

Dr Jones said people in the wider community needed to be aware that the flu was circulating in the community so they could take precautions; such as regular hand-washing and staying home if they became ill.

Hawke's Bay DHB have asked if anyone experiences any flu- like symptoms such as fever, aches and pains they should stay home and if their symptoms progress and get worse they should call their GP or Healthline.