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North city park not cause of skin infection

North city park not cause of skin infection, CPH report confirms

A north Christchurch sports ground would not be the cause of any cellulitis skin infections, says a report to the Christchurch City Council from Medical Officer of Health Dr Mel Brieseman.

Dr Brieseman’s Community and Public Heath (CPH) team was asked by the City Council to investigate possible causes after a newspaper report suggested Nunweek Park could be responsible for cellulitis infections among some rugby players who used the ground.

In a letter to the Council, Dr Brieseman says, “outbreaks of this type . . . will be associated with direct transmission from person to person rather than from the ground of the playing field”. Transmission could occur during a game or during contact in the changing sheds, he says.

Soil testing was inappropriate because it was well recognised that the condition resulted from human to human transmission, Dr Brieseman’s letter says. The bacteria which lead to cellulitis infection can be found in the environment, but originate with humans and any found in the soil would be there as a result of infections in players rather than a cause of infection.

His team therefore concentrated its investigations on the park’s changing facilities -- a Council changing shed on Woolridge Road and a rugby club premises on the park.

Dr Brieseman reports that, “It appears there are no major issues with the changing rooms under the Council’s control”. A separate report had been sent to the rugby club.


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