100 people struck down by sickness bug at popular hotel

One hundred people are believed to have been struck down by a virulent sickness bug that has swept through a popular seafront hotel.
Cooden Beach HotelCooden Beach Hotel
Cooden Beach Hotel

Since April 9, scores of guests and staff at the Cooden Beach Hotel have caught the highly-contagious norovirus.

A sign stuck on the door of the hotel last Thursday (April 16), warned visitors of an ‘airborne virus’ in the premises.

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A Rother District Council spokesperson said that 100 people are believed to have been affected.

Richard Parker-Harding, RDC service manager for environmental health, said, “We have received a large number of reports of people who attended the hotel over the past week who have complained of suffering from acute sickness.

“Following tests, we have eight confirmed case of norovirus, also known as winter vomiting disease, which causes gastroenteritis and is highly infectious. The virus is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals from one person to another. We believe the other people who have been ill also had norovirus.

“Outbreaks are common in semi-enclosed environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships and can also occur in restaurants and hotels.

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“The virus is usually mild and lasts for one to two days. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Most people make a full recovery within a couple of days but it can be dangerous for the very young and elderly people.

“We advised the hotel to inform its customers that this outbreak has occurred and the hotel has now carried out steam cleaning of all its public areas. We are hopeful that the problem has now been resolved, however we will continue to closely monitor conditions at the hotel.”

Cooden Beach Hotel owner James Kimber said, “Recently we had some guests and staff who caught an airborne virus now identified as Norovirus which is very common nationwide and causes short term sickness and tummy upset.

“We contacted the Environment Health Office who came down and did an inspection of the hotel and confirmed that it was nothing to do with food and was an airborne virus. They were pleased with our five star food hygiene systems.

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“They advised us of all the procedures to take which included specialist chemical steam cleaning of the hotel which I can confirm has now been completed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our of wonderful staff for getting this sorted out so quickly and efficiently.”