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Media statement: Cryptosporidium Update

Issue date:

As of 12.30 pm, Wednesday 20 September, there are 17 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium (crypto) in the Queenstown area. This is an increase of 2 in the last 24 hours.

A source of infection has yet to be identified.

The biggest health risk from cryptos is dehydration. Pregnant people, young children, and older people with cryptosporidium symptoms should keep their fluids up. The best thing you can do is drink water that has been boiled for 1 minute or bottled water.

People with weakened immune systems who have crypto symptoms should also keep their fluids up. If you are worried please contact Healthline (0800 611 116) or your GP, or if under specialist care, your medical provider.

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.