An RSV outbreak at a handful of Manawatū rest homes has left three residents needing hospital care.
MidCentral District Health Board medical officer of health Dr Robert Weir told the Herald
the hospital had been contacted by five Aged Residential Care Facilities between July 9 and July 19.
So far, 11 residents had tested positive for RSV and 40 were displaying clinical symptoms, Weir said.
Three residents from two separate aged care facilities in the Manawatū were taken to hospital, Weir said.
He said "outbreak response procedures" had been put in place and the DHB's public health service was continuing to provide support to control the respiratory illnesses in these facilities.
The Herald has asked the DHB for clarification on the number of residents who tested positive for RSV.
Meanwhile, hospitals across the country have been postponing surgeries and creating extra bed space for children as they deal with a sharp surge in the highly contagious winter virus.
Children under 14 were not allowed to visit loved ones at Starship hospital due to clogged up waiting rooms.
The latest ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research) data showed weekly visits to the six main hospitals for RSV continued to rise to a total of 2543 this year. Of that, 735 were recorded in the week ending July 11 alone.
New Zealand has seen a sharp increase in the number of RSV hospital presentations since not long after the bubble was opened to Australia in April.
In May, there were 19 cases in total, and only four recorded in the week ending May 23.
Last year, ESR only recorded 34 RSV hospital presentations between April to September in total.
MidCentral DHB's advice was: "Anyone experiencing cold or flu symptoms, or symptoms of respiratory illness, to seek a Covid-19 test.
"Testing for Covid-19 is currently being done at General Practice (GP) and at our designated testing site in Palmerston North."
Anyone who was feeling unwell was encouraged to stay home and to maintain high standards of personal hygiene, including coughing into their arms and regularly washing and sanitising their hands.
If you require medical attention from a GP, please ensure you call the practice first. Free medical advice can also be sought by calling Healthline on 0800 611 116.