Winter vomiting bug shut down Dublin’s Regency Hotel
Published 15/12/2011 | 05:00
THE outbreak that forced a hotel to shut down its food and beverage operation was last night identified as the winter vomiting bug.
Hotelier John Glynn, owner of the 250-bed Regency Hotel in Drumcondra, north Dublin, said the Health Service Executive last night informed him that stool samples taken from between 80-100 hotel patrons confirmed the presence of the norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.
The virus is spread by human contact and is highly contagious. It can also be spread if someone carrying the bug comes into contact with food or drink or if someone touches contaminated surfaces.
The hotel became aware of the problem last Thursday when a customer and some of her colleagues who had been attending a function fell ill.
Since then, between 80 and 100 patrons became ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.
Mr Glynn said none of the hotel's residents were affected and the outbreak appears to have been confined to customers who attended the hotel for meals, Christmas parties, cabaret shows and other events.
"It was extremely busy last week," he told the Irish Independent last night.
But he stressed that the hotel had nothing to do with the outbreak. "The hotel isn't to blame. It was carried by a human and spread like wildfire," he said.
All 200 staff at the hotel were tested and the hotel shut down its bar, restaurants and function rooms as a precaution. A crew of contract cleaners were at work last night to decontaminate the entire building.
The outbreak has resulted in a massive number of cancellations for Christmas parties and other events, but Mr Glynn said he had no choice but to minimise the spread of infection.
"As soon as we get the all-clear, we'll open up again," he said, adding that he expected to be back to normal by next week.