Two guests evacuated from Egyptian hotel where British couple died 'have potentially fatal bug shigella'

Two guests evacuated from a hotel in Egypt where a British couple died are reported to have a potentially fatal bug.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the mother and her young daughter fell ill while on holiday with their family in Hurghada and have been told they are suffering from bacterial infection shigella.

A common cause of food poisoning, the highly-contagious bug can be fatal.

The family of four affected are said to be among guests evacuated from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic hotel following the deaths of John and Susan Cooper on August 21.

According to the Telegraph, they were told by an environmental health officer that samples showed they were suffering from the infection in what a lawyer for the family reportedly said was a “crucial development”.

Evacuated – the family affected were reportedly among guests evacuated from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada following the death of John and Susan Cooper (Picture: AP)

Nick Harris, from law firm Simpson Millar, told the paper if there was an issue with illness in a large all-inclusive property, the choice was to either close it for a deep clean or try to deal with it while guests remain in situ.

“If there was a sickness bug that the hotel knew about, how did they deal with it?,” he said.

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Thomas Cook moved 300 guests out of the hotel 24 hours after Mr and Mrs Cooper died after becoming aware of an increased number of illnesses.

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser previously confirmed that 13 customers had food poisoning but were not in a serious condition.

Hurghada – several people are confirmed to have become ill at the hotel in the popular holiday resort of Hurghada (Picture: Reuters)

Mr Fankhauser, who has vowed to get to the bottom of what caused the couple’s deaths, flew to Cairo on Wednesday to meet with prime minister Dr Mostafa Madbouly and minister of tourism Rania Al-Mashat.

Ms Al-Mashat said “detailed autopsies” were being conducted by a team of forensic pathologists. She said once detailed forensic analysis was complete, the priority would be to explain the findings to the Coopers’ family.

The couple’s bodies are expected to be repatriated next week.

A separate investigation led by Egyptian prosecutor Nabil Sadeq is testing food, water and air conditioning at the hotel.

Mr Sadeq previously said an inspection of the Coopers’ hotel bedroom found no harmful gas emissions or leaks.

Thomas Cook has commissioned its own tests into food hygiene and air conditioning at the hotel, although it has not been granted access to the Coopers’ room. The results are due next week.