September 12, 2018 / 3:44 PM / 6 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Egypt prosecutor says e-coli was factor in deaths of British tourists

(Corrects direct causes of death for John and Susan Cooper in paragraph 2)

CAIRO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Egypt’s public prosecutor said on Wednesday that e-coli bacteria were a factor in the deaths of two British tourists in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last month.

The prosecutor said John Cooper, 69, was suffering from health problems but that e-coli caused gastroenteritis and heart failure which killed him. Cooper’s wife Susan, 63, was also likely to have been affected by e-coli and died of Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a blood ailment.

It gave the details in a statement of an official medical report after an investigation into their deaths.

Thomas Cook, which the couple was travelling with, moved 300 customers from the hotel they were staying in, the Steigenberger Aqua Magic, following the deaths on Aug. 21.

The British tour operator said it had taken note of the prosecutor’s announcement. “We have not yet seen the full report and we will need time for our own experts to review it,” it said in a statement.

Thomas Cook said earlier this month that it had found a high level of e-coli and staphylococcus bacteria at the hotel they were staying in.

Local Egyptian officials initially said the Coopers both died of heart attacks, but the public prosecutor ordered an investigation. (Reporting by Haitham Ahmed, Omar al-Fahmy, John Davison; additional reporting by Andy Bruce in London, Editing by John Stonestreet/Mark Heinrich)

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