Suspected virus outbreak at Grand

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A SUSPECTED viral infection has broken out at Scarborough’s Grand Hotel, health chiefs confirmed yesterday.

The Health Protection Agency and Scarborough Council environmental health officers have been called in to the historic venue, after guests at the hotel reported symptoms of vomiting and upset stomachs.

Hotel manager David Aylott said yesterday that between 20 and 30 guests had been affected.

He added: “Nothing has been confirmed yet. We have informed guests and the relevant authorities.

“We have an enhanced cleaning programme in place and have called in specialist contractors.”

No staff members have yet reported any symptoms.

Mr Aylott added that the suspected outbreak was in no way connected to previous issues at the hotel.

In 2007, the venue was forced to temporarily close twice after an outbreak of Norovirus. It also shut in 2004 and 2002 after viral outbreaks among guests.

Jackie Tootle’s 79-year-old mother, who was on holiday from Wigan, is one of those affected.

She said yesterday: “They wouldn’t let her get on the coach to return home because they don’t want it to spread.

“My brother is having to do a 250 mile round-trip to go and get her. It’s not an ideal Friday night for him and she’s just stuck on her own taking tablets.”

Dr Simon Padfield, a consultant in communicable disease control at North Yorkshire and the Humber Health Protection Unit, confirmed that he was aware of the reports of a “diarrhoea and vomiting illness” among guests at a Scarborough hotel.

He added: “We are working closely with environmental health officers at Scarborough Borough Council to investigate the cause of the illness.

“At this stage, information currently available suggests that the cause is most likely to be a viral gastrointestinal infection that has spread from person-to-person amongst hotel guests, however this has not been confirmed at this stage.

“The hotel has been advised to inform all guests and hotel staff of the outbreak and of the strict hygiene measures they can follow to reduce any further spread of the illness.

“Advice on enhanced environmental cleaning procedures that can be followed has also been provided.

“For those affected, the illness has been generally short-lived with the majority now recovering at home, without treatment.”