Virus confirmed as source of gastroenteritis outbreak at Torremolinos hotel

The hotel thought the stomach bug might have been caused by the open drains of the hospital nearby.
The hotel thought the stomach bug might have been caused by the open drains of the hospital nearby. / SUR
  • The water, swimming pool, ventilation system, dining room and kitchens of the hotel were given the all clear by investigators

The Junta de Andalucía's regional ministry of health has confirmed that the gastroenteritis outbreak that affected up to sixty people staying at the Hotel MarConfort in Torremolinos was viral in origin and not linked to any alleged insanitary conditions.

Guests had been experiencing symptoms of stomach flu while staying at the hotel in the Los Álamos area, or after having checked out. There have been reported cases of diarrohea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.

The first cases came to light on 20 July, according to the regional health ministry. Although none of the guests was seriously ill, it prompted the hotel management to blame what they described as the unhealthy condition of the open drains of the nearby Hospital Marítimo, for polluting the water supply to the hotel.

Sandos Hoteles & Resorts, the group that owns the MarConfort, said it had reported to the town hall two years ago that the open drains from the hospital constituted a health risk and should be enclosed. In reply the regional-government-owned hospital had always denied that there was any risk from the its drains as they did not connect with those of the hotel. Tests on the hotel's water supply detected no signs of any contamination.

When the first cases of stomach flu occurred, the hotel acted straight away, asking people affected to remain in their rooms. "We have acted meticulously in keeping with our obligations," a spokesperson commented at the time.

Hotel adminsitrators also said that they would be examining doctors' reports for each case to offer refunds where appropriate, while adding that the number of guests suffering from the virus has been low in comparison with the total number of guests staying at the hotel.

After the initial outbreak, Torremolinos council confirmed that the water supply to the hotel had passed all tests and the hotel was working with epidemiologists to contain the virus.

However some guests have complained about the way the hotel dealt with the crisis, with several people confirming that they will be requesting compensation after "having the worst holiday of their lives". Hotel MarConfort still has not confirmed the exact number of people affected.