Eight guests celebrating the Lunar New Year holiday at the luxury Club Med Yabuli resort in northern China had contracted the norovirus sometimes known as “winter vomiting bug”, according to the resort operator.
“Harbin local government confirmed that eight guests received medical treatment for symptoms of the ‘Winter Vomiting Bug’ Norovirus on February 9 and 10 at Club Med Yabuli in Heilongjiang Province,” said a statement released by Club Med on Monday. Harbin is the capital city of China’s nothernmost province.
No one had been kept in hospital for treatment, the statement said.
Media reports started to circulate on social media platforms on Sunday night, as guests staying in the high-end ski resort complained of indigestion, vomiting and diarrhoea after eating in the buffet canteen.
As many as 42 guests had reported suffering from these symptoms, the People’s Daily reported on Monday.
Club Med said it had reported the situation to local food and drug authorities “at the first opportunity”. It said it carried out in-depth inspections of the food and water in the resort every two months, in a separate statement released on Sunday night.
In the latest statement, Club Med did not clarify whether the norovirus had been caused by food or water in the resort.
“This common winter virus can be transmitted through different ways, the most common being person-to-person contact, surfaces, air, water etc,” it said. “And Club Med Yabuli is fully cooperating with the local health authority to investigate the cause of this particular viral outbreak.”
The French holiday resort brand was bought by Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate, in 2015 for€€939 million (US$1.07 billion).
Last December, Fosun floated its tourism business, which includes Club Med, on the Hong Kong stock exchange for US$2.44 billion. The initial public offering set the price per share at HK$15.60 each, the bottom of an indicative range of HK$15.6 to HK$20.
Fosun Tourism’s share price dropped by 1.6 per cent to HK$15.1 on Monday.