Caution needed at Botanical Gardens pond

Children don’t have to be in contact with pond water to pick up bugs.

Children don’t have to be in contact with pond water to pick up bugs.

GISBORNE’S chief medical officer has warned parents that children do not have to be in contact with water to pick up bugs from dirty water at the Botanical Gardens.

Gisborne District Council this week confirmed the duck pond at the gardens contained E.coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Although a statement from GDC said someone would have to drink “a good amount” of water to get sick, medical officer of health Dr Margot McLean pointed out that was not the case.

“You don’t have to enter the pond or drink the pond water to pick up the bugs that can make you sick. You could also pick up the bugs by putting hands in the water or touching areas where there is duck poo.

“This shouldn’t put people off visiting the ducks, as long as extra care is taken with hand hygiene.

“Antibacterial wipes could be used immediately after leaving the area, however parents should supervise children washing their hands and use the 20/20 rule; 20 seconds to wash/20 seconds to dry on the return home.

“Any duck poo should be removed from shoes so that the poo doesn’t contaminate surfaces like floors, or hands.”

■ Contrary to The Gisborne Herald’s story on the Botanical Gardens situation, the bug cryptosporidium was not responsible for making people in Havelock North sick during the recent water contamination issues.

The water contamination in Havelock North was due to campylobacter, not cryptosporidium.

The duck pond has not tested positive for campylobacter.

GISBORNE’S chief medical officer has warned parents that children do not have to be in contact with water to pick up bugs from dirty water at the Botanical Gardens.

Gisborne District Council this week confirmed the duck pond at the gardens contained E.coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Although a statement from GDC said someone would have to drink “a good amount” of water to get sick, medical officer of health Dr Margot McLean pointed out that was not the case.

“You don’t have to enter the pond or drink the pond water to pick up the bugs that can make you sick. You could also pick up the bugs by putting hands in the water or touching areas where there is duck poo.

“This shouldn’t put people off visiting the ducks, as long as extra care is taken with hand hygiene.

“Antibacterial wipes could be used immediately after leaving the area, however parents should supervise children washing their hands and use the 20/20 rule; 20 seconds to wash/20 seconds to dry on the return home.

“Any duck poo should be removed from shoes so that the poo doesn’t contaminate surfaces like floors, or hands.”

■ Contrary to The Gisborne Herald’s story on the Botanical Gardens situation, the bug cryptosporidium was not responsible for making people in Havelock North sick during the recent water contamination issues.

The water contamination in Havelock North was due to campylobacter, not cryptosporidium.

The duck pond has not tested positive for campylobacter.

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