‘External intrusion’ source of St. Maarten resort Norovirus outbreak

They have a way with language down on the islands.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and CasinoAccording to The Daily Herald, the Norovirus outbreak at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino in February was due to “external intrusion stimulated by cross- contamination,” and not a result of food or drinking water at the resort, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) said on Monday.

Some 200 tourists, who had arrived on the island from Canada around February 17, and an unspecified number of students who had been at the resort for a regional debating competition, soon after were affected by the outbreak. CPS released the information after completing its report on the outbreak.

CPS said the Resort noticed a sudden spike in guests complaining of mainly vomiting and a few cases also had diarrhea; affected were the Canadian tourists. The hotel’s consulting doctor was called in and guidelines were provided in connection with sanitation measures. After a dormant period of about a week, a sudden increase in gastroenteritis was again noted amongst the overseas students, some of whom had checked-in on February 24, and the majority on February 25.

Sonesta-Maho-Beach-Resort-And-Casino-All-Inclusive-photos-ExteriorTreatment was provided by the hotel’s physician and at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). Various sanitation and preventive measures were re-emphasised.

“Because of the inherit aggressiveness of the norovirus, very hard and effective measures had to be implemented in the hotel according to the investigations and inspection results observed by government officials,” CPS said in a press release. “The intervention by hotel management and staff in the initial phase was well managed. It can be concluded based on the ministries investigation that this was not an outbreak originating in food or drinking water, but rather by external intrusion stimulated by cross-contamination.”