Two women aged 75 and 85 died on Friday night following an outbreak of gastroenteritis that at the Casa Verde Old People’s Home in Guardamar del Segura.  A further 18 residents fell ill, five of whom were transferred to the University Hospital in Torrevieja.

The normal tranquillity of Saturday morning was shattered with the arrival, around noon of the Civil Guard and a unit of the Judicial Police. In total, about 10 agents arrived at the residence, quickly establishing a police cordon around the perimeter.

Public Health officials also moved to the geriatric hospital on Saturday morning to carry out an epidemiological study and analysis, which they hope will help them to determine the origin of the outbreak, although according to one member of the team, it will still take time to find out exactly to the exact origin of the disease.

The officials are working on two main areas, food poisoning or an outbreak of viral origin, although they were careful to point out that there could be other causes, which are also being investigated.

The centre management are currently declining to make any comment or statement.

Relatives of patients began to arrive at the centre almost as soon as the news became known. They continued to arrive all day Saturday but according to one inmate’s daughter they had not been furnished with any additional detail above what is currently known to the press.

The five people who were transferred to Torrevieja Hospital were all admitted to the observation unit, all of whom were said to be responding favourably to treatment. They are three women, two aged 82 and one of 93 and two men aged 72 and 88. A doctor employed at the residence said that no other inmates have been affected by the outbreak

The Casa Verde group has a total of three residences throughout the Vega Baja, the affected centre at Guardamar as well as Almoradí and Pilar de la Horadada, both of which continue to operate normally.