25 Feb 2018

Four-fold increase in stomach bugs in Jan

1:54 pm on 25 February 2018

The number of people getting stomach bugs is up this year, according to a new report.

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research reported 96 cases of notifiable STEC, or E. coli, infections, in January - up from 25 in January last year.

Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

The highest number of cases were in the Auckland and Waitematā districts.

STEC is spread by eating contaminated raw food, drinking unpasturised milk or contaminated water, or from contact with infected animals or the faeces of infected people, according to the Ministry of Health.

The report said of those who recorded risk factors, three quarters had been in contact with animals.

Other diseases which could cause gastro, such as campylobacter, salmonella, and giardia were also up from last January's figures.

As were the number of cases of dengue fever, mumps, paratyphoid fever and whooping cough.

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