E.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada
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Cairo – Tests showed that E.coli bacteria were behind the death of two British tourists in a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada, the country’s chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.
The statement by Prosecutor Nabil Sadek came a week after travel company Thomas Cook said that there was a “high level of E.coli and staphylococcus bacteria” at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel where John and Susan Cooper died Aug. 21 after falling ill in their room in the five-star hotel.
Forensic tests showed that John Cooper, 69, suffered acute intestinal dysentery caused by E.coli, and Susan Cooper, 64, suffered Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), likely because of E.coli, Sadek said.
He said that tests also showed no links between the couples’ death and the spraying of their neighboring room with lambda-cyhalothrin 5 per cent. The insecticide is safe to use, according to the statement.
The couple’s bodies showed “no criminal violence” and other tests showed no toxic or harmful gas emissions or leaks in their room and tests on air and water at the hotel found nothing unusual, the statement said.
There was not an immediate comment from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel. Thomas Cook meanwhile said it needs time for their own experts to review the prosecutor’s statement.
Egyptian authorities have in August dismissed criminal motives as being behind the deaths. They said an initial medical examination of John Cooper showed he had suffered acute circulatory collapse and a sudden cardiac arrest. They also said Susan Cooper was rushed to hospital after fainting and underwent resuscitation attempts for 30 minutes but died.
The Cooper couple’s deaths last week prompted tour operator Thomas Cook to evacuate its 301 customers from the hotel as a “precautionary measure.”
E.coli is a common type of bacteria that is known for causing an irritable stomach and food poisoning. Many strains of E.coli are harmless or cause a person who has been exposed to it a brief diarrhea episode, but other few strains are very harmful such as E. coli O157:H7, which causes severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and organ failure.
According to Mayo Clinic a person may be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef. Healthy adults usually recover from infection with E. coli within a week, but young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure.