Media Release - 06/01/08
Most of the 3000 scouts and 1500 leaders at the18th New Zealand Scout Jamboree at Christchurch’s Canterbury Agricultural Park will return home today.
Twenty three children with norovirus symptoms will need to stay after their troops have left, as they cannot use public transport until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey said a number of children who have been unwell during the Jamboree’s norovirus outbreak have been collected by families but those that need to travel by bus, plane or ferry will need to stay put for a while longer.
Some scout leaders will stay in Christchurch, so that they can travel home with their scouts, when they are ready to leave.
Most staff from the Canterbury District Health Board and the NZ Army Medical Corps who have been helping with the norovirus outbreak will be stood down today. Children remaining in the hospital tent will be cared for by St John staff with assistance from Dr Humphrey and others from the CDHB’s Community and Public Health division.
Ten children who have developed chicken pox while at the camp will all leave the camp site today. Scouts from overseas with chicken pox are not leaving New Zealand for two weeks.
“Once again I would like to thank St John and New Zealand Defence for their assistance in managing this outbreak and caring for the children that became unwell. Also the scout leaders and scouts who through their strenuous efforts to promote and practise scrupulous handwashing and infection control managed to greatly limit the spread of this highly infectious illness,” Dr Humphrey said.
In total, 124 children became ill with norovirus at the camp – about two per cent of the 5,000 attendees.