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Media Statement: Cryptosporidium Outbreak

Issue date:

As of 10 am, Thursday 21 September, there are 21 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium (crypto). This is an increase of 4 in the last 24 hours.  

A source of infection has yet to be identified, but investigations are ongoing.     

Alcohol based hand sanitizer does not kill the cryptosporidium bug or stop the spread of the microscopic crypto cysts. Hand washing is the best way you can help stop the spread of crypto. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dried thoroughly with a clean towel.  

The best way to clean down surfaces is to use products that contain hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine and bleach based products will not kill the crypto cysts.  


For people who live, work or have visited Queenstown and Frankton on or after August 18th and have symptoms of diarrhoea and/or stomach cramps. Please call your GP or health provider to arrange testing. Please do not show up with a sample without having first talked with your healthcare provider.    

Boil water in advance  

If you are on a boil water notice, please boil water in advance if you are able to. There are weather warnings in the Queenstown area. Plan ahead in case of power cuts.   

Boil water for 1 minute and store in a clean container with a lid.  

Public Health advice remains the same: 

How to help stop the spread of infection  

The best thing you and your whānau can do to stop the spread of cryptosporidium (crypto) infection is to practise good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them thoroughly with a clean towel:  

  • After using the bathroom, changing a nappy or helping others use the bathroom  

  • Before eating or cooking  

  • After handling an animal  

  • After gardening, even if you used gloves  

  • When caring for someone with diarrhoea  

Other ways to help stop the spread of cryptosporidium infection are:  

  • Stay home or keep young children home when you or they have an active case of diarrhoea  

  • Don’t drink untreated water  

  • Shower before using recreational swimming facilities to wash away any potential Cryptosporidium organisms on your body.  

  • Don’t swallow pool water.  

  • Wash all produce before eating it. Peeling the skins will also reduce your risk.  

  • Take young children at the pool to the bathroom frequently.  

  • Change children’s nappies often.  

  • Stay clear of the water (swimming pools, spa pools, lakes and rivers) if you or your children have diarrhoea. Stay out of the water for a full two weeks after the diarrhoea subsides.  

What to do if you have symptoms  

The most common symptom of crypto infection is smelly, watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps. If you live in the Queenstown area or have visited there in the last 12 days and are experiencing these symptoms, please call your GP and inform them.