New Zealand has been declared provisionally free of hydatids and notification has announced to the international animal health organisation - OIE.
Hydatids is caused by a tapeworm which lives in the gut of dogs. Its lifecycle also involves an intermediate host, mainly sheep or sometimes cattle. Humans can be as host and pose a serious risk to human health.
Compared to 103 in 1953, seven human cases were reported in 2001. These cases are likely to be recurring cases from childhood infections, as new infections have been rare since the 1970s.