By Simon Lomax
Holiday Accident and Illness Claims Manager
Simpson Millar Travel Solicitors are continuing to provide specialist compensation advice to travellers who recently returned from Mexico’s Riviera Maya and Playacar areas having suffered illness. Recent instruction have been obtained from a number of guests staying at the Hotel Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa who suffered diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever having contracted Cyclospora infection whilst staying at the complex.
The Thomson 4 T rated Hotel has a beach front location on the Riviera Maya, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. This all-inclusive accommodation appears to share is facilities with the Catalonia Yucatan Beach Hotel with the use of 5 outdoor swimming pools and various restaurants.
If you experienced illness and have suffered from profuse and watery diarrhoea call our specialist travel lawyers now on 0808 145 1353 for free advice.
Cyclospora Infection – What is it?
Cyclospora is microscopic parasite often described as a “large cryptosporidium.” Although this bug is uncommon, transmission of Cyclospora is often linked to contaminated food and water sources. The organism is believed to be host specific to humans.
Fresh produce is often the culprit in many cases of Cyclospora infection.
What Symptoms are Suffered by its Victims?
After an incubation of 2-11 days holidaymakers will experience a self-limiting, but prolonged, relapsing and often explosive watery diarrhoea lasting on average 19 to 43 days. The infection will cause multiple visits to the toilet with bouts of diarrhoea alternating with bouts of constipation.
Fatigue, fever, indigestion, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting may occur, as well as weight lost. The symptoms are similar to those experienced by its little brother, cryptosporidium.
In victims with supressed immune systems symptoms can be prolonged lasting several months, if not longer.
Who is at risk of Cyclospora infection?
Holidaymakers travelling in subtropical regions of the world such as Mexico may be at an increased risk of infection because Cyclospora infection is endemic in some countries in these zones. In Mexico, foodborne outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of fresh produce.
Eurosurveillance reported in 29 October 2015 that:
‘Cyclospora cayetanensis was identified in 176 returned travellers from the Riviera Maya region of Mexico between 1 June and 22 September 2015; 79 in the United Kingdom (UK) and 97 in Canada. UK cases completed a food exposure questionnaire. This increase in reported Cyclospora cases highlights risks of gastrointestinal infections through travelling, limitations in Cyclospora surveillance and the need for improved hygiene in the production of food consumed in holiday resorts.’
They continue to say in relation to UK travellers that ‘the majority of cases had travelled to the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.’
Compensation for those Returning Ill from the Hotel
Simon Lomax the firm’s Holiday Illness Claims Manager says:
“Holidaymakers have been returning from the Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico ill and the total number of travellers’ experiencing gastric illness from this destination appears to be rising.”
“If you are intent on claiming compensation because you suffered from a debilitating holiday illness whilst staying in Mexico our experienced travel lawyers will guide you through the claims process.”
When to See Your Doctor
Many conditions can cause diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal signs and symptoms. If you develop persistent diarrhoea whilst staying at the Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa which lasted several days, make an appointment to see your GP so that he or she can identify the cause and recommend treatment.
The diagnosis of Cyclospora infection requires a laboratory test to identify the parasite in your stool.
If you experience dehydration due to diarrhoea, see your GP immediately as this can lead to serious complications. The warning signs of dehydration include:
- Decreased urine output
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth and tongue
Claim Compensation If You Have Been Sick in Mexico
Travellers are able to seek compensation upon their return home provided they can rely on consumer protection regulation in the form of the Package Travel Regulations [Etc] 1992. These regulations enable clients of tour operators such as First Choice, Thomson, Thomas Cook etc. who suffer illness to claim compensation from them directly, under UK law.
Responsible tour operators should not be sending holidaymakers to hotels such as the Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa if they are likely to contract Cyclospora from contaminated food or water. Put simply, travellers should not get the opportunity to inadvertently ingest bacterial or parasitic holiday bugs from a hotels buffet!
Simpson Millar LLP are specialist holiday illness compensation claims lawyers and we pursue holiday claims on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. Contact us today on 0808 145 1353 for further information – you’ve really nothing to lose.