Tourism threatened in TCI over sickness outbreak

| 23/05/2012

1577327_0.jpg(CNS):Officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands are currently investigating and attempting to contain an outbreak of sickness in resorts on the island of Providenciales. So far the source of the diarrhoea and vomiting in some resorts has not yet been identified but samples have been sent to the US for testing. The government said that the ministry of health, the environmental health department are working with the TCI Health Surveillance Team, Hotel Association and Tourist Board to address the situation which could impact the islands tourism product. 

“Public health teams are assessing, identifying and reporting on the situation utilizing Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) and Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) guidelines. Their top priority is to protect the public as well as the tourism industry from any further illness by containing any outbreak,” officials stated in a government release. “Public health professionals are working with hoteliers to gather data on the number of cases and to determine if there is any common cause. Samples have already been sent to a laboratory for investigation in the US and results are currently awaited.  As a precaution, refresher hygiene training courses for all hotel staff are being arranged.”

People experiencing diarrhoea, abdominal pain or vomiting are being told to report to their nearest health care facility and that the surveillance team will be interviewing people experiencing symptoms in order to help pinpoint the source of the outbreak.


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Comments (5)

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  1. Anon says:

    Why the panic?

    This is almost certainly norovirus or winter vomiting sickness and it's very simple to contain and manage. Basic hygiene is all it takes.

    Quote the NHS in the UK, "If you have a sudden episode of vomiting and diarrhoea, it is likely you have norovirus," and their website contains all the info you need to deal with it.

    • Anonymous says:

       The above is standard procedure for unknown pathogens, in this hemisphere, so I would not say there is panic. Also, please do not advise the public to diagnose themselves, as 99% of viral infection are initially mild and flu like i.e. it's hard for even a MD to diagnose and you never know how BAD it could be. The best thing is when you feel sick ( and only you know when that is) to get a professional medical practitioner(of course a GP is always cheaper) to diagnose and treat you and if they say its "norovirus" then so be it. But I do agree hygiene is key!

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear Statistician: unless you are a cat, your GP should be a MD.  Also if your doctor can't treat your flu symptoms, then it's time to shop for a second opinion.

      • Anon says:

        Dumb comments!!

        The quickest way on this planet to spread norovirus is to go screaming to your doctor.

        You don't need blood tests, stool samples, IVs or all the other stuff people seem to go for. Anti-biotics don't work on it and things like Imodium just prolong the symptoms, although parcetamol may ease the headaches and cramps if it stays in your sytem long enough to be absorbed. You just have to suffer until it clears out of your system.

        Quote from another website – "Because it is highly contagious, the best thing is to stay at home and away from public places – including your doctor's surgery."

        I've had it more than once – at its worst you get simultaneous uncontrollable diarrhoea and vomiting but it passes and going to Defcon 1 just because a few people get sick is just plain silly. I'm guessing that the only people benefitting from this medical alert are the 'professional medical practitioners' racking up the bills for totally unnecessary tests and treatment.


  2. Whoufa Jr. says:

    Its a conspiracy of Chagion proportions!