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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Sickness bug forces hotel to close and carry out deep clean

A hotel is being forced to close while a deep clean is carried out to remove traces of a sickness bug.

Hunday Manor photo
Hunday Manor

An investigation had been launched into Hunday Manor Country House Hotel, in Hunday Winscales, Workington, after more than 20 pupils and staff from Stainburn School and Science College fell ill.

The group had all eaten at the venue as part of the Year 11 leavers’ prom.

Initial concerns that it was food poisoning prompted a joint investigation by Allerdale Council’s environmental health department and Public Health England (PHE).

Tests ruled out food poisoning and experts yesterday confirmed it was in fact the winter vomiting bug, norovirus.

There have been further reported incidents of guests falling ill after visiting the hotel restaurant, and so Public Health England has begun a deep clean of the venue.

Dr Nigel Calvert, consultant in Public Health at the Cumbria and Lancashire PHE Centre, confirmed the cause of the illness.

“Staff and pupils who were affected by the outbreak had attended an event at Hunday Manor Country House Hotel, and investigations at the hotel have confirmed further incidents of sickness,” he said.

“Norovirus is highly infectious and usually spreads by close personal contact. It can also spread through the air or from contaminated surfaces.

“There is no evidence that the outbreak among staff and students from Stainburn School is foodborne spread.”

Dr Calvert added: “We are working closely with Allerdale Council, and a deep cleaning schedule is underway with full co-operation from the hotel.

“Advice has been issued to hotel management and staff and a period of public isolation has been recommended as a precautionary measure to contain any further contamination.

“We will continue to monitor the situation with council colleagues.”

Joe Wilson, managing director at Hunday Manor, told the News & Star: “The safety of our customers is our priority and it was our decision to temporarily close the hotel as a precautionary measure to ensure we could conduct a thorough and deep clean of our facilities.

“We are following all the advice given to us from the health authorities on this bug which is passed by close contact with people and not through food and are looking forward to opening very soon.

“We are keeping in close contact with all our many customers and would like to thank them for the huge amount of support they continue to offer during this unfortunate time.

“We hope that all those affected by this bug are feeling much better now.”

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