UK Tourists Died From E. Coli Exposure at a Hotel in Egypt

Sep 13, 2018

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An English couple on vacation in Egypt died in August from illnesses linked to E. coli bacteria while staying at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt’s Prosecutor Nabil Sadek confirmed Wednesday.

On Aug. 21, John and Susan Cooper died within hours of each other after staying at the five-star Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel, which they had booked through the travel agency Thomas Cook Group Plc. Following the Coopers’ deaths, the travel company hired an independent hygiene specialist and air quality specialist to conduct a series of tests at the hotel. The group promptly flew out the remaining 300 guests who had booked stays through the agency after the food tests and hygiene standards revealed high levels of E. Coli and staphylococcus bacteria, Bloomberg reports.

Autopsy reports 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 in a statement.

The autopsies also showed “no criminal violence” was involved in the deaths, and other tests found no toxic gas emissions or leaks in the couple’s room, the statement said. Additionally, air and water tests came back normal. An initial medical examination of John Cooper showed he had suffered acute circulatory collapse and a sudden cardiac arrest. Officials also said Susan Cooper was later rushed to hospital after fainting and underwent resuscitation attempts for 30 minutes before she died.

Thomas Cook noted Sadek’s announcement but did not release an immediate comment. The agency said it had not seen the full report and needed time for its own experts to review it. The group said in a previous statement that it is putting together a compensation package for all customers who became ill while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada during August.

Featured image of the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images.

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