Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC is urging people who have been on the Travers-Sabine Circuit to avoid other national parks if they're feeling unwell.

Date:  06 January 2017

Nelson Lakes Operations Manager John Wotherspoon is urging people who’ve been on the Travers-Sabine Circuit to be responsible and avoid national parks or the backcountry if they are feeling unwell with gastroenteritis or flu-like symptoms so that any virus is not spread.

“We’re monitoring adjoining national parks including Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks following the suspected norovirus outbreak in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

“While we’ve had reports of other isolated incidents of stomach bugs in Kahurangi and Abel Tasman – we don’t know yet if the suspected norovirus gastro bug has spread.

It is important people stay out of the parks if they’ve been in Nelson Lakes or they suspect they’ve been infected.  In fact, anyone who has been ill should stay home until they are truly better as this outbreak demonstrates how vulnerable people can be in the back country.

“People can still be infectious for two days after their symptoms have passed.

“Signs and information will be posted asking people to take extra hygiene precautions and to report to DOC if they have become ill.

“All the huts on the Travers-Sabine Circuit have now been thoroughly disinfected but we are encouraging people to avoid the area for the next week. 

“If people are intent on visiting Nelson Lakes, they should use tents to camp away from the huts and bury all toilet waste at least 10 metres from all tracks and water courses. 

“If the suspected norovirus is to be contained we need people to do the right thing,” says Mr Wotherspoon.

To report suspected norovirus in the national parks: DOC emergency hotline 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

Find more information about the norovirus on the Ministry of Health website.


John Wotherspoon
DOC Nelson Lakes Operations Manager
Mobile: +64 27 8397139

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