Death of two British tourists in Hurghada caused by E. coli Bacteria: Egypt's prosecutor-general

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Sep 2018

 Red Sea
FILE PHOTO: A view of the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, Egypt, August 16, 2016. REUTERS

Egypt's prosecutor-general stated on Wednesday that the British tourists who passed away in Hurghada in August died from the bacterial infection E. coli. 

In a statement issued on Wednesday about the results of the autopsy of John, 69, and Susan Cooper, 63, who passed away in August while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel with their daughter and grandchildren, showed that the E. coli bacteria played a significant factor in their deaths, according to the lab tests.

The statement added that John Cooper was suffering from previous health problems, but that E. coli caused the heart failure.

His wife, Susan Cooper, may have been infected with the virus, as she was staying with her husband in the same room and was eating from the same food, but that she died of gastroenteritis.

The prosecutor-general's statement also refuted claims that the couple died due to poisonous emissions from the air conditioner in the room, as was initially claimed in the media.

Egypt's Tourism Minister Rania El-Mashat said in a statement that the autopsy reports published today… are one more step forward towards helping the grieving Cooper family come to terms with the tragic loss of John and Susan."

"The causes of death, e-coli bacteria, were medically determined by a team of internationally accredited pathologists, which I hope for the family’s sake will put an end to previous speculative suggestions of what might have happened."

"The health and safety of all tourists to Egypt are absolutely paramount and I am determined, together with the Prime Minister Dr Mostafa Madbouly and our fellow Ministers to ensure the highest standards of well-being for all visitors to our country."

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism said in early reports that a preliminary medical examination report showed that the British couple died of natural causes and that there was no evidence of criminal foul play. 

Following the deaths, Thomas Cook offered its 300 customers at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel, where the incident took place, the choice to move from the hotel as a precautionary measure after the death of the Coopers or to fly them back to Britain instead.

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