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Holiday Illness Complaint

Holidaymakers suffer Giardia illness at the Sol Dunas Resort in Cape Verde

23rd October 2017

We've been contacted by a British family who informed us that they were affected by the harmful Giardia parasite following their stay at the Sol Dunas Resort in Cape Verde. Here, we explain what Giardiasis is and what you can do if you contract it while on a package holiday.

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The Sol Dunas Resort (aka the Meliã Dunas Beach Resort & Spa) in Sal

Also known as the Meliã Dunas Beach Resort & Spa and the Sol Dunas by Melia, the Sol Dunas is situated in the Sal region of Cape Verde and advertised by TUI (formerly known as Thomson) on an all-inclusive basis to British holidaymakers.

British Family affected by Giardiasis on Cape Verde holiday

The family went on an all-inclusive package holiday to the Sol Dunas Resort in Cape Verde through TUI (formerly Thomson), as many British holidaymakers do, during the peak holiday season in August. Not long after their arrival, the family began to suffer symptoms of a severe stomach illness.

The holidaymaker who contacted us says that their family were ill for several days, but it was their children who suffered the longest, with their son suffering symptoms of the illness for nearly 2 weeks and their daughter being ill for around 3 weeks.

At first, they thought that the family might be feeling unwell due to the change of climate, but it soon became clear that this was a more serious sickness and diarrhoea bug. After speaking to a family member with professional medical experience, the family chose not to see a medical practitioner in Cape Verde, as they believed that they were suffering from a short-lived illness.

They went to the GP once they returned to the UK as the children were still notably unwell, with one of the children needing to go to the toilet multiple times throughout the day. They say that the children submitted samples to their GP for testing, following which, one of the children was diagnosed with Giardiasis.

Their doctor said that it was likely that other family members had suffered from the same pathogen, and the unfortunate holidaymaker informed us that she is also aware of other guests who suffered similar symptoms during their stay, including a family of four.

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Problem with flies at the Sol Dunas Resort

While a guest at the Sol Dunas, the family member who contacted us informed us that the pools were cleaned daily and appeared to be in a generally good condition, adding that the hotel was generally clean. They say that the water used to water the plants each day smelled of sewage and that there were numerous wasps and flies around the dining areas, including a drinks area.

What is Giardia?

Giardia is a type of parasite that can infect your intestines, resulting in a condition called Giardiasis. In some instances, people can be infected by Giardia and not display any symptoms, but when symptoms do manifest, they can include foul-smelling diarrhoea and flatulence, abdominal cramps and discomfort, indigestion, nausea, fatigue, dehydration and weight loss.

Giardiasis is usually spread through infected faeces and poor hygiene standards. Giardia can be spread by people who haven't washed their hands well enough after using the toilet, resulting in faecal matter containing the hazardous parasite being transferred to surfaces, utensils. If this is done by food handlers in a hotel restaurant, poor hygiene can soon lead to food poisoning.

Younger children and parents are generally considered to be at a greater risk of exposure to Giardiasis, but if you do contract this dangerous parasite, we recommend receiving advice from a medical practitioner.

Food poisoning pathogen on a fork

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Find out if you can make a 'no win no fee' claim

If you would like to find out more about claiming compensation for a holiday accident, contact a member of our travel law team. We can assess your case as part of a free no-obligation consultation, and if we represent you, we can do so on a 'no win no fee' basis.

Claire Rabbetts - Simpson Millar Solicitors

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