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Giardia Lamblia Infection – Egypt’s Parasite Strikes Hotels Again

Simpson Millar’s travel lawyers have been monitoring a recent spate of Giardia Infections suffered by holidaymakers returning from hotels in Egypt.

This holiday bug can cause gastro-enteritis with diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, frequent loose and slimy stools, tiredness and weight loss. Sometimes a more serious illness can result in damage to the gut lining and victims will require treatment in hospital.

Children are affected with the Giardia parasite, more commonly than adults. The rate of infection amongst UK travellers to Egypt is higher due to poor sanitation, and the germ is usually passed from holidaymaker to holidaymaker by direct contact with the infected faeces of another.

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

“Giardia cysts are passed in the faeces of an infected person, and so hotel employees especially food handlers with active diarrhoea should remain at home to reduce the risk of an outbreak of illness – unfortunately many infected food handlers’ return to work immediately to avoid reduced pay and do not seek advice from their doctor.”

“Holidaymakers travelling to Egypt with infants, and young children should ensure that they observe good hygiene standards to reduce the risk of ingesting Giardiasis- particularly hand hygiene practices before eating and especially after visiting the toilet.”

“Contacts of holidaymakers with confirmed Giardiasis returning from Egypt should be reminded about the importance of personal hygiene after using the toilet – no other action should be needed unless they too develop gastric symptoms.”

Simon continues to say:

“Giardia is a notifiable disease which should be reported to the Health Protection Agency. The symptoms usually appear 7 to 10 days after exposure, although the range can be 5 to 25 days.”

“Waterborne outbreaks of giardia are also a cause of concern in Egyptian Hotel’s particularly when it is common practice to water the gardens near swimming with treated sewage. It is takes a single breakdown in the treatment process of faecally contaminated water to cause an outbreak of illness at the Hotel – guest walking barefoot across watered gardens and then jumping in the pool cause contamination. “

Simpson Millars travel lawyers received enquiries from holidaymakers returning ill from Egypt whilst staying at the Red Sea Holiday Village; Nubian Village; Tropicana Grand Azure; Baron Palms and Sonesta Club (amongst many others) last year.

If you would like advice or representation on a No Win No Fee basis call our friendly and experienced team in complete confidence on 0808 145 1353 or complete the attached enquiry form.

Dated: 01/05/2012

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