An outbreak of a highly infectious virus has affected nearly 300 people in New Zealand’s Northland region, a media report said.
So far, there have been 283 reported cases of norovirus gastroenteritis, with two deaths in the region, the New Zealand Press Association reported.
The two deaths were linked to the virus outbreak, but it was not the cause of them.
Medical officer Jonathan Jarman said norovirus was a highly infectious disease and was particularly difficult to control in guest houses.
“Outbreaks of suspected norovirus gastroenteritis are not uncommon in rest homes and hospitals due to the close living conditions of residents and patients. It’s highly infectious and sometimes being in the same room where someone has vomited is enough to catch the illness,” he said.
However, infection control measures have been put in place, he said.
Norovirus gastroenteritis is a mild to moderate illness but like most diseases it tends to hit the elderly harder. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.