MPI confirms second infected site in myrtle rust outbreak
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has received test results this afternoon confirming the fungal plant infection myrtle rust is present at a second site in Kerikeri.
The new infected property is a close neighbour of the original confirmed infected nursery, in the same Kerikeri street. It is a private residential property and not a nursery.
Earlier today MPI released information that a second nursery in Kerikeri was under suspicion of having myrtle rust, but laboratory tests on samples proved negative. MPI is now arranging re-testing of further samples, given the fact that the symptoms appear like myrtle rust and are on highly susceptible plants. Sometimes false negatives can occur with PCR testing.
MPI's Director Response, Geoff Gwyn says the new positive residential site is not unexpected, given the ability for myrtle rust to spread as invisible spores on the wind. There will be conditions placed on the property to prevent the spread of myrtle rust from this new site and affected plants will be treated.
Important note for media
Given the rapidly changing facts in the response, MPI has decided the most efficient way to manage updates is to put out a daily situation update to media. This update will go out each day at approximately 1pm. It will also be posted on the MPI website.
Where there is a significant development, MPI will, of course, communicate outside of this update and provide interviews.
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