Via the Turks and Caicos Sun: Mystery virus hits resorts in Turks and Caicos. Excerpt:
Several resorts in the tourism belt of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands have been hit by a mysterious illness, characterized by diarrhea and vomiting, that has sickened scores of visitors to this high-end tourist destination located 500 miles from Miami.
The outbreak, which was first reported about a week ago, may have contributed to the death of an elderly tourist who was found lifeless in his hotel room. Autopsy results have not yet confirmed the official cause of death.
Officials from Government, tourism, hotel and health sectors have gone into a state of high alert, embarking on massive public awareness and public relations campaigns to ensure tourists and visitors alike that the Turks and Caicos Islands is still a safe destination, despite an “increase in diarrhoea and vomiting in some resorts on Providenciales”.
“The (Turks and Caicos Islands) Tourist Board would like to reassure travelers that the TCI remains a safe place to visit,” said a release from Neil Smith, spokesman from the office of British Governor Ric Todd.
Smith added that public health professionals are working with hoteliers to gather data on the number of cases and to determine if there is any common cause.
“Samples have already been sent to a laboratory for investigation in the US and results are currently awaited. As a precaution, refresher hygiene training courses for all hotel staff are being arranged,” Smith said.
“Those persons experiencing diarrhoea, abdominal pain or vomiting should report to their nearest health care facility. The health surveillance team may also need to interview any person experiencing such signs and symptoms in order to help pinpoint the source of the outbreak. Information will be kept confidential; however, updates on the number of cases will be released as soon as they are confirmed.”
The TCI Post says one person has tested positive for norovirus.