Almost 100 guests, believed to be staying at the Sandals Resort in New Providence, have contracted a “viral problem”, according to health officials, who stressed yesterday that the potential outbreak has been contained.
Eyewitness News understands that a number of guests were plagued with diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps.
When contacted yesterday by Eyewitness News, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands confirmed that less than 100 guests were impacted with what health personnel believes to be a case of gastroenteritis – inflammation of the stomach and intestines, typically resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infection and causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Dr Sands said that investigations were ongoing to determine the exact cause of the “viral problem.”
“We have done the appropriate testing but, at this point, we believe that it is a viral problem,” Dr. Sands said.
“Over a four-day period, they had a spike of cases. The hotel has followed all international guidelines for the management of these types of problems… We are actively involved to ensure that the staff and guests are taken care of.”
When asked, Dr. Sands ruled out the possibility of conch poisoning and said the Ministry of Environmental Health was also aware and is a part of the investigation.
Sands was careful in his comments on the matter, noting that the health challenges could have grave implications for the country’s reputation.
“We have a situation at Sandals which is a problem and it has serious implications in terms of the jurisdiction, the impact of the economy and the reputation on The Bahamas.”
The number of cases, he reported, are now on the decline.