10 Oct 2014

Number of gastro cases increases

6:48 pm on 10 October 2014

The number of confirmed cases in New Zealand of a severe form of gastroenteritis has increased to 127.

Thirty-eight people have been hospitalised by the bacteria-causing illness, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and 16 cases are yet to be confirmed.

Canterbury's medical officer of health Alistair Humphrey said while a few more people have come forward with symptoms, the outbreak is at the tail end.

He said a case study showed lettuce and carrots were the source of the illness.

Dr Humphrey said symptoms could mimic appendicitis and people should wash fruit and vegetables before eating.

The Ministry of Primary Industries, meanwhile, said it is still trying to identify the cause of the illness - including cross referencing foods consumed by people who are sick.

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