KEELPNO blames stomach bug for sick tourists on Rhodes

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) on Thursday contradicted foreign press reports according to which hundreds of tourists suffered food poisoning at a hotel on Rhodes earlier this month, stating that the likeliest explanation for the sickness of a large number of guests and employees at the establishment in question was infectious gastroenteritis.

Earlier in the day the Tourism Ministry sent a team of inspectors from the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) to the island following alarming reports in the Russian, French and British press claiming that some 500 tourists had fallen sick at a luxury hotel at the popular resort of Lindos over the August 15 national holiday.

KEELPNO said the likeliest cause of the outbreak was Norovirus, a common and extremely infectious stomach bug. The center said it had investigated the matter when the first cases became known, in association with the local authorities on Rhodes, and that none of the infected individuals had required medical treatment. Since then the spread of the virus has slowed and measures have been taken to avert further outbreaks, KEELPNO said.

Meanwhile, in comments to Skai, the head of the Rhodes union of hoteliers, Antonis Kampourakis, indicated that the foreign press reports had blown the matter out of proportion. He noted, however, that three people who caught the bug had required medical treatment