Health Ministry investigators have yet to determine what has caused dozens of guests at an Eilat hotel to come down with stomach ailments, but they appear to suspect food poisoning.
The ministry said in statement on Wednesday that 56 people staying at the Dan Eilat Hotel have reported vomiting and intestinal cramps, most of whom have not needed to seek medical attention.
A guest, speaking anonymously, told the Kan public broadcaster that “people are vomiting everywhere possible, in the lobby, in the elevators, in the rooms.”
Reports of illnesses began to reach the ministry on Tuesday, but two checks of the hotel kitchen by government health inspectors since then came up clean, according to the statement. The hotel’s food has also been sent to a lab for testing.
The ministry said it opened an epidemiological investigation that is still ongoing.
Guest were given a questionnaire to fill out, and, of the 56 confirmed cases, 20 only reported their condition after being contacted by the ministry’s sub-district office doctor, the statement said.
“The Health Ministry will continue to instruct the hotel in accordance with results from the ongoing investigation and update the public as necessary,” the ministry said.
Ronit Ruth-Levi, who is staying at the hotel, told Kan that, overnight Monday, her son and nephew began to continuously vomit.
“By the evening, my husband also began to vomit,” she said.
When she went down to the lobby, there were other people already there complaining of vomiting.
Guests opened a WhatsApp group called “Vomiting in Eilat” to discuss the issue, and at least 90 complained of upset stomachs, according to Hebrew media reports However, Ruth-Levi estimated that more than 150 people were unwell.
“They didn’t say much to us in the hotel,” she said to Kan. “If I hadn’t heard about it from the media I wouldn’t have heard anything. They didn’t close the dining room or update us with anything.”
The hotel said in a statement that the Yoseftal Medical Center that treated some of the guests found they were not suffering from gastroenteritis.