A gastric bug doing the rounds in Wanganui has prompted a reminder to people to follow some simple but effective hygiene methods.

The bug causes vomiting and diarrhoea, and at least one central city pharmacy has been providing over-the-counter treatments.

Trevor Hawkins, owner of Hawkins Pharmacy, said he and his staff had been dealing with a number of adults coming into the shop to get help.

"They're probably not in the numbers that would raise concerns at this stage, but there's definitely something going around at the moment," Mr Hawkins said.


He said the unseasonable weather had produced its share of colds and sore throats as well.

But personal hygiene was a simple means to help people keep illness at bay.

"Every time our staff have dealt with a customer, they use the hand sanitisers as a matter of course," Mr Hawkins said.

"These sorts of viruses are easily passed from things like bank card keypads, the keypads on money machines and supermarket trolley handles. And escalators are one of the dirtiest places," he said.

When a virus was "doing the rounds" it always followed that more people would turn up at pharmacies.

"But at the moment it's mainly adults we're seeing and not so much children," he said.

Jenny Duncan, president of the Wanganui Employers' Chamber of Commerce, said none of her members had mentioned gastric illnesses affecting workplaces.

"Some of them have mentioned a recurrence of flu-like symptoms in some of their workers but nothing out of the ordinary," Ms Duncan said.


Geoff Simes, principal at Durie Hill School, said a "handful" of students had been struck down with the gastric bug.

"We've had two or three who had vomited at school and were sent home and then a couple of others in recent days have complained of sore tummies and have gone home," Mr Simes said.

"But it's not as if we've had a classroom away at any one time."

He said none of the other principals he had been talking to had raised it as an issue.

Meanwhile, Sandy Blake, director of nursing and patient safety general manager for the Whanganui District Health Board, said if there was an increasing number of cases of people with diarrhoea and vomiting "then we'd like to know about it".