MORE than 20 youngsters from a Hartlepool school were hospitalised after taking ill on a sports trip to Dubai.
A party of 46 students from Dyke House Sports & Technology College’s Elite Development sports squad jetted out to Dubai last Thursday for strength and conditioning coaching in a variety of sports as part of their course.
But within 24 hours of their arrival, 23 of the students – aged between 11 and 16 – were taken to hospital with sickness and diarrhoea after a bug swept through their training camp.
Three ambulances were called to the Premiere Inn, in the Silicon Oasis district, to ferry the poorly youngsters and a member of staff who was also suffering with the same symptoms to the Saudi-German hospital.
The hospital had to bring six doctors, a team of nurses and 24 extra beds in to its accident and emergency department to deal with the situation, though after checks all of the Dyke House party were allowed to return to their hotel without the need for further attention or overnight admissions.
Since the scare, the staff and students have continued with their sports programme without anyone else coming down with the bug, and will return home as planned on Thursday.
There were initial fears that the group has contracted food poisoning, but it appears the cause of the outbreak was the bug which has been doing the rounds in the UK.
Parents of the youngsters who needed medical attention have all been contacted by email, with seperate communications going out to all of the parents whose youngsters are on the trip.
Andrew Murphy, head of college, based in Mapleton Road, Hartlepool, has been in regular contact with senior staff who have accompanied the students to Dubai.
He said: “Children were checked out by doctors in Dubai because of a viral infection that several people have been suffering from in the UK during the last few weeks.
“All children were released from the doctor’s chair without any further attention needed and are continuing to enjoy their break in Dubai.”
Speaking to Dubai-based website 7DAYS, Dr Ali Ziaee, head of the emergency department at the hospital, said: “The majority had moderate dehydration but because of the mass presentation it was a serious case.
“Half of those admitted had to be put on hydration fluid drip until their situation stabilised.”
Did your child go on the trip to Dubai? Call the Mail on 01429 239381.