ROME (AP) — The Italian Foreign Ministry said Thursday it is working to quickly bring back from Egypt an Italian family whose 6-year-old son died suddenly in the leading Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and the parents ended up hospitalized.
Italian news reports said the child was believed to have suffered from a suspected case of food poisoning.
The ministry said Egyptian law enforcement and medical authorities had already opened an investigation into the July 2 death of Andrea Mirabile, and ordered an autopsy.
The ministry said the mother, Rosalia Manosperti, had been released from the international hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, but that the father, Antonio Mirabile, remained admitted.
Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, with their all-inclusive package deals and luxury hotels, are some of the country’s major beach destinations and are popular with European tourists.
Cases of food poisoning at the country’s tourist resorts have proved dangerous in the past. In 2021, 47 tourists were hospitalized after a hotel dinner in the Red Sea beach town of Hurghada. In 2018, 300 guests were evacuated from another Hurghada hotel after the sudden deaths of two British tourists and more than a dozen fell ill with food poisoning.
The Red Sea has also seen two deadly shark attacks in the past week, both near Hurghada. Sharm el-Sheikh is set to host the next United Nations summit on climate change, COP27, in November.
Authorities have in recent years sought to revive the vital tourism sector, battered by years of instability and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
This story has been corrected to show that the two shark attacks were near Hurghada, not Sharm el-Sheikh.