Russian tourists hit by suspected food poisoning at Egypt hotel

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15/ 09/ 2008





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MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - More than 80 Russian tourists vacationing at the Sheraton Sharm Resort in Egypt are believed to be suffering from food poisoning, a Moscow radio station said on Monday citing one of the victims.

Ekho Moskvy said it is not clear what caused the poisoning, but the tourists believe they fell ill after consuming contaminated food.

"The tourists are suffering from the same symptoms: diarrhea, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting," Gleb Borisov told the radio station. "Some of them have been unable to leave their hotel rooms for a third day already, although some are feeling a little better now."

Borisov said that no major medical assistance had been given to the tourists with hotel management reluctant to address the problem advising the victims to contact their insurance companies.

Russia's honorary consul to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Akhmed Semari, told RIA Novosti that the hotel management had denied there were any health issues at the resort.

Semari said citing the hotel that six Russian tourists had been taken to an international medical clinic on Sunday, adding that the results of tests would be available later on Monday.

The four-star Sheraton Sharm Hotel currently has around 600 tourists staying, he said.

Russian operators have meanwhile suspended sales to the hotel until Egyptian health officials clear up the cause of the poisoning, a spokesperson for the Russian Tourist Industry Association said.

"Some 100 tourists lodged complaints with their insurance companies over the weekend," Irina Tyurina said. "Sales of tours to the hotel have been suspended and tourists who bought holidays at the hotel will be accommodated in other hotels."

She said Russian tourists are being relocated to other hotels.

The Russian Tourist Industry Association said earlier 2 million Russians were expected to visit Egypt this year compared with 1.5 million in 2007. The country is a popular travel destination during the fall and winter months with Russians due to the country's simplified visa regime, warm climate, good diving and archaeological sites.



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