Officials of the southwest Finland town of Nousiainen have extended an advisory calling for residents to boil tap water before using it for food and drinking. Last week, more than 130 residents reported stomach illnesses.
On Monday, samples from a patient who’d suffered stomach complaints indicated the presence of norovirus, known as the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Symptoms of norovirus infection typically include diarrhoea, vomitting and stomach pain.
"We are awaiting additional information from patient samples. It is likely that afterwards the chlorination of the water distribution network will be boosted. Obviously it will be a few more days before we can lift the advisory to boil water," said Nousiainen municipal manager Jaana Karrimaa.
Town officials are also continuing their investigations into a possible link between a broken pipe and potential water contamination.
"There is a suspicion that a leak in the system may have influenced contamination of the water. However there is no certainty of that," Karrimaa added.
The official said that an epidemic task force was due to meet on Tuesday afternoon.
"During that meeting we will go through the results of the samples taken. At the same time we will decide on further measures to be taken," Karrimaa explained.
Local healthcare officials are currently gathering data from infected residents. Individuals suffering from stomach bug symptoms are being advised to report to health centres in Masku or Mynämäki.