Havelock North is a suburb of the City of Hastings on the North Island of New Zealand with 14,000 residents. By the end of August 2016, over one-third of the residents of this entire town had been sickened by drinking water contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria, the most common source of foodborne illness in New Zealand.1 How did a wealthy country with national drinking water standards come to experience the largest documented drinking water outbreak in its history?
Like most waterborne disease outbreaks, Havelock North’s began when a few residents stayed home from work assuming they had food poisoning or a seasonal illness. The trickle soon grew to dozens, then hundreds, and ultimately thousands of residents suffering from debilitating cramps, headaches and nausea. “By Friday August 12 schools reported hundreds of … READ MORE >>READ MORE >>