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Holiday Illness Complaint

Guests at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa in Turkey report suffering severe gastric illness

9th October 2017

We're representing a holidaymaker who advised us that they suffered the symptoms of a Salmonella and Campylobacter infection while staying at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa in Turkey. Reviewers on TripAdvisor have also commented on a severe gastric illness and highlighted possible problems with hygiene and food safety at the Turkish resort.

We've put together some advice on how to reduce the risk of getting ill on holiday, as well as what to do in the event that you suffer a sickness bug abroad.

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The Aqua Fantasy Aquapark Hotel & Spa

The Aqua Fantasy Aquapark is situated in the Kusadasi resort of the Izmir Area in Turkey and advertised on an all-inclusive basis by TUI-owned tour operator Thomson. The resort has a beachfront setting, and as its name suggests, features a waterpark, making this an appealing prospect for British families.

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Holidaymaker says she contracted Salmonella and Campylobacter

After returning from her all-inclusive package holiday, our client advised us that she encountered several hygiene issues, some of which she believes contributed to her condition. She believes that the food being served at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark was of a poor standard, informing us that some of the meats she was served tasted funny.

She says that at breakfast the eggs were undercooked to the point that they were still gelatinous and there were problems with the food temperature, with dishes that should have been hot being served lukewarm. She says that the chicken used in some of the dishes being served outside had flies landing on it and that the salads were left uncovered, meaning that they were also exposed to flies.

Our client picked up on other hygiene issues, including the cleanliness of the plates and cups that were being used in the hotel restaurants, and she also says that she saw cats roaming the hotel grounds.

Our client didn't eat outside of the hotel during her stay, but before long, she began to suffer the symptoms of a gastric illness, including severe diarrhoea, headaches, nausea, fatigue and dehydration, as well as a fever and shivers. She says that since her initial symptoms subsided, she has suffered from on-going health issues that have impacted her quality of life, informing us that she has missed work due to her condition.

Zoomed in modelling of Campylobacter

She says that she reported her illness to her Thomson Rep while she at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark, and saw her GP upon her return to the UK. She has since been diagnosed with both Salmonella and Campylobacter, two particularly hazardous food poisoning pathogens known to affect holidaymakers.

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Reviewers report suffering sickness and diarrhoea at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark

Although the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark ranks well on TripAdvisor, with many reviewers praising the resort, the following holidaymakers have also encountered problems with a sickness and diarrhoea bug during their stay.

Swansea County holidaymaker 'adele30something' wrote a review of her stay at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark in September titled "Over rated 5* NOT". In her review, she says that she found issues with the standard of cleanliness, and that "people had to be admitted to hospital with vomiting and diarrhoea or had to stay in their rooms".

She comments that "basic hygiene is neglected" and there are "toilets with no paper" that smell "even after cleaning", adding that she encountered "dirty cups, plates and ashtrays left out by the pool".

'adele30something' alludes to issues with "hot food [being] cold" and "cold food [being] hot" before commenting that she "witnessed a guest pick a slice of melon, bite into it and put it back onto the tray half eaten", but she doesn't say if the hotel did anything about this.

In their review titled "Good for all ages, not so good for food", Kent holidaymaker 'g d' says that "8 [members] of [their holiday party] then went down with sickness and [diarrhoea]", commenting that "this was no ordinary 48-hour thing".

They say that "after a few days [of] feeling particularly unwell, [they] had to visit the onsite hotel Doctor who then arranged transport to a local hospital". They say that "it turned out [that they] had more than just [sickness and diarrhoea], meaning that they [had to stay at the hospital] for 2 nights to treat a serious condition".

While at the hospital, they found out that "further people from [the] Aqua Fantasy [had been] admitted for [sickness and diarrhoea]", and on their second day in hospital, 'g d' says that their "son and daughter-in-law" were admitted and kept "in overnight on drips".

After 'g d's family spoke to other guests at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark, they found out that they weren't alone, as "many had suffered or a member of their family had suffered this [sickness and diarrhoea] bug". 'g d' adds that "everyone [they] spoke to in hospital with [the same symptoms] came from Aqua Fantasy".

They conclude their review by saying that upon their return, most of their holiday party "were still suffering stomach cramps and [diarrhoea] over 2 weeks [after they] first [experienced] symptoms of the illness".

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Hotel responds to 'g d'

In response to 'g d's review, Kathy Nys, a manager at the Aqua Fantasy Aquapark, had the following to say:

"We would like to state that we were aware that a few of our guests were suffering with Sickness and diarrhea. As you can appreciate we are a Hotel with more than 2500 guests and as we already have an extremely high record of health and hygiene and therefore as a further precaution all of these was thoroughly checked and nothing found. We are sorry to hear that this [unfortunate] illness affected some of the enjoyment of your holiday, but we, at Guest Relations, we are always available to assist all of our guests on any special needs that maybe required. Thank you for taking the time to do this review."

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Advice on limiting your exposure to holiday illness

If you're staying at a hotel where a sickness and diarrhoea bug is affecting multiple guests, there are steps that you can take to keep yourself healthy. Although there's little you can do to prevent contracting a pathogen that is being spread by food poisoning, by practising good hygiene, you can reduce the risk of catching contagious bacteria and parasites.

Taking antibacterial gel with you is a great preventative measure, but by ensuring that you thoroughly wash your hands before eating a meal and after using the toilet, you can limit your exposure to hazardous pathogens.

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What to do if you get sick abroad

If you suffer severe gastric illness symptoms on holiday, such as those from a Salmonella or Campylobacter infection, then it's vital that you inform your holiday representative and hotelier, and most importantly, that you are diagnosed and treated by a medical practitioner.

It can be tempting to hope that you'll recover from a holiday illness without seeing a medical practitioner, but it's safer to receive a diagnosis, just in case you are suffering from an illness that could lead to on-going health problems.

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Find out if making a compensation claim is right for you

If you've been ill on an all-inclusive package holiday, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.

We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation, during which a member of our travel law team can assess your case and advise you whether making a 'no win no fee' compensation claim is the best course of action for you.

Daniel Ross - Solicitor, Holiday Claims

Contact us for free no-obligation holiday illness claims advice

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

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