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Cholera - Has this Illness Struck Tourist Areas in the Dominican Republic?

A local health authority has confirmed that Cholera has been diagnosed in 3 holidaymakers who recently returned from the Dominican Republic following a wedding.

The victims began to suffer classic symptoms of Cholera eg profuse watery diarrhoea, vomiting and sickness shortly after returning home – fortunately none of them had to stay in hospital long and they have all now fully recovered.

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar’s Holiday Illness Claims Manager says:

"These cases have highlighted risks of travelling to certain tourist areas in the Dominican Republic. "

An emergency meeting with the Dominican’s top government officials was called by its President, Leonel Fernandez, to come up with strategies to prevent the spread of cholera. The meeting was called shortly after the country reported its first case, which has already devastated much of its island neighbour, Haiti.

Sanitary conditions don’t exist in much of Haiti since the earthquake, and the disease has spread rapidly across the countryside and to nearly all of its major towns and cities. There are concerns it could eventually sicken hundreds of thousands of people in the Dominican Republic including tourists.

Tourism is a major industry in the Dominican Republic, and the nation is a favourite Caribbean holiday destination for UK holidaymakers. The alarm that Cholera is spreading in the Dominican Republic may affect tourism numbers to areas such as Punta Cana.

Simon continues to say:

"It is understood that over 70% of staff working in hotels in Punta Cana are Haitians who have close contact with migrating family members. There is a risk that infected food handlers may pass the bacterium called Vibrio Cholera indirectly to tourists whilst handling food."

"There appear to be a serious risk of infection and routine screening of all staff must be implemented immediately to prevent infection to tourists staying at popular all inclusive hotels in the Dominican Republic."

"Only time will tell if the local authorities and hoteliers in the Dominican Republic have the situation under control. Symptomatic staff members should be excluded from working immediately for treatment and testing."

For free advice on making a compensation claims against a UK tour operator for illness whether this be cholera – salmonella – e-coli or any form of food poisoning get in touch with Simpson Millar’s holiday claims specialists.

Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or drop us a line using the form above.

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Dated: 10/02/2011

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