59 tourists were intoxicated in a well-known hotel in Cartagena

People walk on a beach that has been opened starting today for the local public and tourists in compliance with biosafety and social distancing standards in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia). EFE / Ricardo Maldonado Rozo

In the last hours, in the capital of the department of Bolívar, a health emergency occurred that caused the illness of several tourists in the city. Total, 59 guests were intoxicated and that they had to be treated by medical personnel; fortunately, Everybody is out of danger.

The events took place in a hotel located in the Bocagrande area, where several tourists began to feel bad after having tried the local food. Collaborators from the District Health Administrative Department, DADISto investigate what happened and verify that the intoxication did not seriously affect people.

In this regard, Ana Margarita Sánchez, operational director of Dadis Public Health, pointed out that “so far everything indicates that the common source of transmission was food consumed during lunch and dinner during the day prior to the occurrence of the intoxication picture. Samples were taken and delivered to public health department laboratories for processing.”

There were 121 tourists in the hotel and all of them were evaluated by the doctors to verify their state of health, thus it was determined that only 59 presented a positive picture of poisoning due to the consumption of food in poor conditionthat is, the rate of involvement was 48.7%. For now, the authorities have preferred to keep the name of the hotel private while studies are carried out on the food samples and it is determined what it was that intoxicated the travelers.

“An interdisciplinary team from Dadis moved to the hotel facilities to exercise surveillance and control over the hotel’s food services and carry out the active search for cases among guests,” Sánchez mentioned, noting that upon hearing the news the security and epidemiological control protocol was activated to detect intoxicated people and “find the sources and collect the samples with the remains of the consumed food”.

“As soon as the notification was received, the field security and epidemiological control protocols were activated in order to identify the people subject to the risk of exposure,” the Dadis official assured.

At the moment, the food tests remain in the Departmental Public Health Laboratory and the authorities are awaiting the results. In the first tasks, the authorities did identify a risk factor that could have affected the state of the food and, therefore, cause intoxication. As they pointed out, the risk was seen in the cold chain in which the products are preserved..

Before the problem, in the hotel the provision of food services was suspended as a consistent health safety measure until problems are identified and the same ones that caused the illness of the 59 tourists are corrected.

At this time, more tourists arrive in Cartagena taking advantage of the mid-year vacations in educational institutions. This is why the authorities turn on the alerts in the face of these cases of foodborne diseases (ETA)which, if not addressed promptly, can become a more widespread public health problem in the world.

Finally, the health authorities of the capital of the department of Bolívar called the attention of hotel administrators to ensure that food is safe and fit for human consumption, as well as that the places where they store the products meet the requirements. In the same way, to tourists so that they are also attentive to the state of the food they consume.


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