Influenza kills six at Whitianga Care Centre and Village

  • 14/02/2024

Multiple people in a Coromandel rest home have died with flu symptoms since late January, authorities and the company that runs the facility say. 

Oceania Healthcare has confirmed six deaths following an influenza outbreak at its Whitianga Care Centre and Village, the first case of which was reported on January 28, Coromandel's CFM radio reported.   

Felicity Dumble, at Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand, confirmed they were notified of the "influenza-like symptoms" outbreak on January 28. 

The National Regional Public Health Service provided "information and guidance for managing the outbreak", Dr Dumble said. 

She said the outbreak closed on Friday "based on no further spread of illness". 

Influenza has run rampant since New Zealand opened its borders after COVID-enforced closures. In addition to an earlier-than-usual start to the flu season last year, authorities have warned about the virus spreading at the same time as COVID-19. 

The health ministry reported 5878 new COVID-19 cases in the week to Monday, more than half of which were reinfections. Prominent epidemiologist Michael Baker has declared COVID-19 had "become more intense in the last three or four months - with this fifth wave being bigger than the fourth".