Four holidaymakers are in hospital with a virus after returning from a 10-day coach tour to Wales.
Three passengers, who had just returned by NorthLink ferry, were kept in the Gilbert Bain Hospital after initial assessment yesterday and a fourth went to hospital later in the day.
All the patients are thought to be Shetland residents who had been on an RG Jamieson’s tour to Llandudno.
Director of Public Health for NHS Shetland Dr Sarah Taylor said that the patients, some of whom are elderly, had contracted a cold-type virus that had spread among the passengers in the bus.
It appears that some of them had become unwell about a week ago in the middle of their tour.
Ms Taylor said: “All are unwell but stable. They have some sort of viral infection that seems to be causing a bit of temperature, cough and a bit of diarrhea. There are a lot of viruses that cause these symptoms. Having a high temperature when you are elderly is worrying.”
It was also easy for elderly people, especially those doing a lot of travelling, to become dehydrated, she added.
“It’s the sort of illness that people would normally look after themselves at home or go to their GP. When people are already frail or have a chronic illness, it could be more serious, and when people are travelling together in close contact with one another they are more likely to catch something.”
Ms Taylor said that tests had been undertaken to try and pin down the nature of the virus and that the patients were being assessed on a regular basis. They would remain in hospital until they were well enough to go home.