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New Springston bore puts stop to illness outbreak

Canterbury District Health Board and Selwyn District Council Media Release


SUBJECT: New Springston bore puts stop to illness outbreak

A Canterbury District Health Board investigation into a cluster of campylobacter cases in the Springston Township during February and March this year has concluded that the outbreak was caused by contamination of the town’s water supply.

Since the commissioning of a replacement bore by Selwyn District Council on 13 March, there have been no further notifications of campylobacter infecton from the Springston area, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey said.

While investigating the four campylobacter notifications from Springston township, a team from CDHB’s Community and Public Health division found a further 38 cases of gastrointestinal illness, and two further cases of campylobacter in visitors to Springston. Peaks in illness in the community coincided with periods when the town’s water had not met New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.

A case control study carried out by the team revealed that the rate of water borne illness among Springston residents was significantly higher than would normally be expected. People who consumed unboiled Springston water were 16.25 times more likely to develop a gastrointestinal illness than those who did not drink the water.


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