Date: 31 December 2016
DOC Nelson Lakes Operations Manager John Wotherspoon says a hut warden raised the alarm yesterday that some members of a party of 16 New Zealanders were unwell with vomiting and diarrhoea.
DOC staff have since flown the track and ascertained that the party appears to be the main group affected at this stage, however there are other isolated reports of people being unwell.
They will be coming out of the area today and put up in an empty DOC house until they feel better.
Mr Wotherspoon says the Department has been in close contact with Public Health specialists. “We are advising all trampers to take extra precautions with hand washing and cleaning of equipment.”
Trampers are advised to clean, wash and dry their hands before and after using the toilet, before handling food or touching food preparation surfaces. “Signs are being erected at huts to warn of the risk.”
“We have put extra hand sanitiser and bleach in place at huts along the 80 kilometre loop to make sanitation easier,” he says.
Because not all the huts are bookable we can’t say how many people are on the circuit - however it is a busy time of year and the huts would normally be half to three quarters full. It usually takes people around five days to complete the circuit.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and will advise if any additional measures are required,” says Mr Wotherspoon.
Find more information about the norovirus on the Ministry of Health website.
DOC Nelson Lakes Operations Manager
Mobile: +64 27 8397139