Egypt investigates alleged death of 6-year-old Italian boy from food poisoning

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Egyptian medical and legal authorities are investigating the alleged death of a six-year-old Italian boy in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, who is believed to have died of food poisoning, Italy’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Authorities launched an investigation and ordered an autopsy following the death of Andrea Mirabile on Saturday July 2, at the request of his parents. The case will be further investigated, the Egyptian Ministry of Health said The National.

The child’s parents, who were suffering from similar symptoms, were admitted to Sharm International Hospital. The mother, Rosalia Manosperti, has been discharged but the father, Antonio Mirabile, remains hospitalized, the State Department said.

The Italian Embassy in Cairo and the Foreign Ministry are making efforts to ensure the “immediate transfer of the child’s body” and to bring the parents back to Italy “as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, the Embassy and Honorary Consulate in Sharm El Sheikh have been closely monitoring the parents’ medical progress.

The Palermo family were holidaying in Sharm El Sheikh when they suffered severe nausea and vomiting on Friday, Andrea’s uncle Roberto Manosperti told the Italian daily La Stampa.

While the mother, who was four months pregnant, had milder symptoms, the child and father, aged 46, were in a more serious condition.

“The child was very ill. My brother in law thought he drank water in the pool. But it couldn’t be just that,” said Mr. Manosperti.

They visited a local doctor, who gave them an IV with a physiological solution and prescribed pills to treat food poisoning.

When the symptoms didn’t go away on Saturday, the couple called an ambulance and drove to the hospital.

Andrea, who was put on a drip upon arrival at hospital, died an hour later, Mr Manosperti said. The father, who suffers from kidney and heart problems, remains in serious condition.

Sharm International Hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts are popular with European tourists, with their all-inclusive packages and almost year-round sunshine. The Red Sea region attracts about 65 percent of all tourists arriving in the country.

The UN climate conference Cop27 will also take place in Sharm El Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula in November.

However, the country’s tourism industry has suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic and more recently the Russia-Ukraine war.

Further south on the Red Sea coast near Hurghada, two European women were killed in separate shark attacks last week, prompting authorities to temporarily close Sahl Hasheesh beach, where the incidents took place.

In November, 47 tourists were hospitalized after a hotel dinner at a resort in Hurghada. The tourism authorities ordered the hotel to close, suspended its director and revoked his work permit.

Updated 7 Jul 2022 5:57pm

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