A stomach bug likely to be norovirus is circulating in the Gisborne community, staff at Gisborne Hospital warn.

Primary school kapa haka teams from all corners of New Zealand are currently in the city to compete in Te Mana Kuratahi 2017, the national primary schools' kapa haka festival.

Fifty-seven teams wil be competing over the next week in the country's largest largest kapa haka competition, with thousands of visitors expected, including iwi leaders, MPs and officials.

Hauora Tairawhiti medical officer of health Dr Margot McLean warned that those who were vomiting, had diarrhoea or stomach pains should stay away from work and school.

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Gastroenteritis admissions have increased at Gisborne Hospital Emergency Department, and some schools are reporting increased numbers of children away with gastro, she said.

"Two children admitted to Planet Sunshine (children's ward), in the past week had confirmed Norovirus, and there has been a recent large Norovirus outbreak in Hawke's Bay Hospital affecting patients and staff.

"Norovirus can be very contagious. To help prevent the spread of the virus through your family and the community it is very important for anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach cramps to stay away from school, work or groups of people for 48 hours after symptoms disappear.

"If symptoms don't get better, or you become dehydrated or have other concerns, contact your general practice clinic for medical advice or ring Healthline 24 hours a day on 0800 611-116. Please phone ahead if visiting a medical centre so that isolation procedures can be put into place."

"Good hand cleaning is important and makes a difference. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before drying thoroughly.

"If you are aware of an outbreak in a school, early childhood centre or other institution please contact the on-call Health Protection Officer on 027 440 7239."

- Gisborne Herald