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Holiday Illness Complaint

TUI SENSIMAR El Dorado Seaside Suites guest says they were hospitalised with Gastroenteritis

8th November 2017

We've been contacted by a holidaymaker who suffered Gastroenteritis while on an all-inclusive holiday at the TUI SENSIMAR El Dorado Seaside Suites in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Here, we'll detail some of the historic problems with stomach illnesses in the region, and what you can do if you've been affected.

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The TUI SENSIMAR El Dorado Seaside Suites in Mexico

Sometimes referred to as the Sensimar Seaside Suites and formerly known as the El Dorado Seaside Suites, the TUI SENSIMAR El Dorado Seaside Suites is situated in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico and advertised on an all-inclusive basis to British holidaymakers by TUI (formerly branded as Thomson) and First Choice.

Last year we reported on problems with a sickness bug at the Sensimar Seaside Suites and Spa, a hotel that is situated in an area where several tourists have reported that they contracted the hazardous Cyclospora parasite.

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Holidaymaker suffers severe Gastroenteritis

The holidaymaker who contacted us says that they began suffering from a stomach illness a few days into their stay at the Sensimar Seaside Suites. During the acute stage of their illness, they say that they experienced symptoms that included diarrhoea, stomach cramps and lethargy, as well as subsequent issues with dehydration and hypertension.

After reporting their condition to the TUI representative a doctor came to see them, but due to the severity of their condition, they were sent to the hospital where they were diagnosed with Gastroenteritis, with a bacterial infection believed to have been the cause. They have informed us that the acute stage of their illness lasted for over 2 weeks, but they are still experiencing problems.

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Hygiene issues encountered at the Sensimar Seaside Suites

They say that during their stay at the Sensimar Seaside Suites they encountered a number of concerning hygiene practices that may have resulted in their illness. They say that there was a drainage smell around the resort and in the dining areas there where birds on the tables and buffet dishes were left out uncovered.

They have also said that they saw food handling members of staff working without gloves and that at times the food was cold, to the point that eggs were served runny. They mentioned that a member of staff serving eggs was seen using a cloth to wipe their face and mouth, before using the same cloth on their workstation.

Unfortunately, they also reported problems with the hotel swimming pool, which they say was notably cloudy and appeared to have a layer of scum at one stage of their holiday. After speaking to the TUI holiday rep, they discovered that there had been a problem with the filter in the swimming pool that at the time had yet to be resolved.

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Public Health England comment on Cyclospora in Mexico

Previously, Public Health England (PHE) has reported on a Cyclospora outbreak in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, where the TUI SENSIMAR El Dorado Seaside Suites is located. In the latest update of their report, they stated the following:

"We continue to see high numbers of Cyclospora cases being reported. A total of 320 cases have now been reported since 1 June, with 230 reporting travel to Mexico (94 from England, 122 from Scotland and 17 in the rest of the United Kingdom)."

Model of the Cyclospora parasite

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Why Cyclospora is a problem for holidaymakers

Cyclospora is a waterborne parasite, meaning that it can be transferred through contaminated water, but due to how fine it is, it can become attached to food that is being cleaned or irrigated in this water. Once it has attached itself to fruits, vegetables and herbs, it can be impossible to irradiate without cooking the infected produce.

Cyclospora induces symptoms, some of which are typical of food poisoning. These symptoms can include alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhoea, as well as vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever and digestive issues.

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What to do if you suffer Gastroenteritis in Mexico

If you experience Gastroenteritis on holiday it's advisable to ask a medical practitioner to perform a stool sample test to diagnose the pathogen that caused your illness, however, if you believe that you have contracted the Cyclospora parasite, ask specifically to be tested for Cyclospora.

A standard stool sample test can look for a wide variety of different pathogens, but in our experience, a specific test is required to detect Cyclospora. Because of this, if you suffer these symptoms in an area known to be affected by Cyclospora, such as at a hotel in the Riviera Maya; ask to be tested for Cyclospora.

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Find out if you can claim for holiday illness

If you've suffered Gastroenteritis on an all-inclusive package holiday, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you might be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator. A member of our travel law team can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of how you can pursue your complaint, including whether we can represent you on a 'no win no fee' basis.

Alice Hellewell - Paralegal, Holiday Claims

Contact us for free no-obligation holiday illness claims advice

To find out more about claiming compensation; contact Alice Hellewell by filling in our enquiry form and we will call you back, or call us directly on 0808 145 1353.

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