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Health Staff Kept Busy At Golf Tournament

14 January 2002

Health services were kept busy during the New Zealand Open Golf Tournament in Paraparaumu last week carrying out food venue inspections, water supply surveillance and assessments of medical emergencies.

Before the start of the tournament the Ministry of Health released advice for public health services throughout New Zealand on how to minimise the risks associated with accidental or deliberate chemical poisoning.

The risk of chemical poisoning was being treated as a possibility after a letter containing threats against the New Zealand Open Golf Tournament were sent to the United States Embassy.

Deputy-Director Public Health Dr Don Matheson said public health services were asked to ensure contingency plans were in place for both accidental or deliberate chemical poisoning.

Health staff at the tournament included two Health Protection Officers from Hutt Valley Health's Regional Public Health Service and two medics and four nurses from Capital Coast Health. Between four and eight Wellington Free Ambulance paramedics were also in attendance.

Public health staff carried out food venue inspections and water supply surveillance. They also carried out assessments of the food supply to Tiger Wood's accommodation.

Emergency medical staff attended a small number of medical incidents including: spectators struck down by wayward golf balls acute problems including a twisted ankle following a fall in the stands a person suffering shortness of breath one person with muscle fatigue, leg pains, headaches and nausea. An assessment showed the patient had suffered symptoms for four days before the tournament.

Dr Matheson said he was pleased the event passed without serious incident and he complimented health and emergency service staff for their contribution to public safety at the tournament.

ENDS

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