British tourists struck down by virus in Canary Islands

As many as two hundred British holidaymakers have been taken ill at a hotel in the Canary Islands, following a suspected outbreak of the norovirus.

The Barcelo Santiago Hotel – a four star property on the island of Tenerife – has seen internet forums deluged with complaints following the outbreak, which has seen several patrons hospitalised.

Posting criticism on Trip Advisor, Jacquiya, said: “We didn’t realise the extent of the problem until we were recovering and then we became aware that many people were going through the same as us.

“It was very disappointing. We had looked forward to this holiday for a long time.”

The view was supported by NUFCCo_Durham, who said: “My wife passed out on three occasions after being sick and I had to call the doctor out.

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“By the following day, I had started with diarrhoea and later that evening I was also violently sick. The appetite goes; the thought of food just makes you want to be sick again.”

However, there were also a number of positive reviews of the property.

Issuing a statement in response to the outbreak, management at the hotel argued different areas of Tenerife had also been affected.

A statement said: “The affected tourists are mainly of one nationality and the sickness symptoms apply normally in the first few days of arrival which lead us to think that probably they had got the virus prior to arrival in the most of cases.

“Therefore, our hotel is one of the safest and less affected, so it should not be considered as an infection point, but it should only be considered the destination of few people that possibly were sick before arriving to the hotel.”

The hotel also pointed out strict disinfection procedures recommended by the local health authorities had been rigorously applied.

This view was supported by a spokesman for Thomson, one of the operators whose customers visited the resort.

A statement read: “Outbreaks of the airborne norovirus are common, particularly within contained environments such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools and an outbreak in a hotel or resort is therefore not indicative of a failing in hygiene standards.

“Prevention of spread of infection procedures have been implemented since February and an independent hygiene consultant confirmed the hotel was operating to the highest standards.”