Queenstown crypto cases up six to 29

Sep 23, 2023

From Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand.

As at 10am, Saturday 23 September, there were 29 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium (crypto). This is an increase of six in the past 24 hours.  

A source of infection has yet to be identified, but investigations are ongoing.     

Boil water in advance 

If you are on a boil water notice, please boil water in advance if you are able to. Due to the weather in the Queenstown area, plan ahead in case of power cuts.  

Boil water for 1 minute and store in a clean container with a lid. 

Flood water

Avoid contact with flood waters if you can and assume they will be contaminated by sewage.

There is also a danger of injury from floating objects and hazards hidden below the surface. If there are power outages in your area, be wary of power lines that might be down and be even more hazardous in wet conditions.

If you do come into contact with flood waters, change out of any wet clothes and shoes and put them aside to be washed later. Wash skin that has come into contact with flood waters, and wash your hands as soon as you reasonably can.

All items that have come into contact with flood waters should be treated with caution. Keep up good hygiene and protect yourself when cleaning. For those cleaning up, please use protective clothing, gloves, sturdy footwear and face masks. If you have any cuts or abrasions, you should cover them up to avoid infection.

Further information - After a flood – Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand

What to do if you have Cryptosporidium symptoms:

The most common symptom of crypto infection is smelly, watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps. For people who live, work or have visited Queenstown and Frankton on or after August 18th and have symptoms of diarrhoea and/or stomach cramps, call your GP or health provider to inform them and to arrange testing if needed. Please do not show up with a sample without having first talked with your healthcare provider.   

All health centres in Queenstown are currently open - although some are functioning at reduced capacity.

You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice for managing your health.

Public Health advice for crypto remains the same.

How to help stop the spread of infection  

The best thing you and your whānau can do to stop the spread of crypto infection is to practise good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them thoroughly with a clean towel:  

  • After using the bathroom, changing a nappy or helping others use the bathroom  
  • Before eating or cooking  
  • After handling an animal  
  • After gardening, even if you used gloves  
  • When caring for someone with diarrhoea  

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser does not kill the cryptosporidium bug or stop the spread of the microscopic crypto cysts.

Other ways to help stop the spread of cryptosporidium infection are:  

  • The best way to clean down surfaces is to use products that contain hydrogen peroxide. Chlorine and bleach based products will not kill the crypto cysts. 
  • Stay home or keep young children home when you or they have an active case of diarrhoea  
  • Don’t drink untreated water  
  • Shower before using recreational swimming facilities to wash away any potential Cryptosporidium organisms on your body.  
  • Don’t swallow pool water.  
  • Wash all produce in cooled boiled water before eating it. Peeling the skins will also reduce your risk.  
  • Take young children at the pool to the bathroom frequently.  
  • Change children’s nappies often.  
  • Stay clear of the water (swimming pools, spa pools, lakes and rivers) if you or your children have diarrhoea. Stay out of the water for a full two weeks after the diarrhoea subsides.  


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