Greece’s Disease Control and Prevention Center (KEELPNO) representatives announced that the hundreds of tourists who fell sick at a 5 star hotel in Rhodes suffered from infectious gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
The Ministry of Tourism send the investigators to Rhodes after claims that a large number of tourists fell sick due to a virus at Lindos Imperial Resort and Spa luxury hotel.
The investigators on Thursday contradicted foreign press reports according to which hundreds of tourists suffered food poisoning at a Rhodes hotel earlier this month, stating that the likeliest explanation for the sickness of a large number of guests and employees was infectious gastroenteritis. The “stomach flu”, as gastroenteritis is widely referred to, is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
GreekReporter reported first on the incident after receiving complaints from an Israeli hotel guest.
KEELPNO said the likeliest cause of the outbreak was Norovirus, a common and extremely infectious stomach bug. The center said it had investigated the matter when the first cases became known, in association with Rhodes authorities, and that none of the infected individuals had required medical treatment. Since then the spread of the virus has slowed and measures have been taken to avert further outbreaks, KEELPNO said.
International media who also investigated the case reported that “hundreds of French and Russian tourists suffered from vomiting and diarrhea symptoms over the August 15 national holiday, with many allegedly accusing the hotel management of forcing them to pay up to 100 euros per patient for the medical treatment they received.”
Meanwhile, in comments to Skai channel, the head of the Rhodes union of hoteliers, Antonis Kampourakis, indicated that the foreign press reports had blown the matter out of proportion. He noted, however, that three people who caught the bug had required medical treatment.
French newspaper Le Figaro published an extensive article on the issue. Other French media, such as LaDépêche du Midi and RTL, also showed interviews with visitors describing their horrible experience.
The mysterious virus affected almost half of the 1,400 hotel guests, including 400-500 French tourists, at least 100 Israelis and about 80 Russians.
“The virus was of no major concern and the doctors who visited the hotel did not advise us to take them to the island’s hospital for treatment. Their claims are way out of proportion and therefore the hotel, in cooperation with the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working to see how the virus was spread,” noted the manager of the 5-star hotel. “I doubt, however, that it was due to salmonella or anything related to the water,” the Lindos Imperial Resort and Spa hotel manager stated to GreekReporter earlier this week.