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Holiday Illness Complaint

Cross the T's, dot the I's and put U in hospital - How TUI ignored warnings of Cyclospora in Mexico

20th December 2017

Spread by human faecal matter contamination, holidaymakers are still being struck down by the Cyclospora parasite in the Riviera Maya and Cancun resorts of Mexico, and it seems as though holiday companies such as TUI are doing little to prevent their customers from being hospitalised.

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3 years of Cyclospora in the Riviera Maya and Cancun

For the last 3 years, we've been inundated with enquiries from holidaymakers who have travelled to the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions of Mexico, unaware of the dangers of the hazardous Cyclospora parasite and suffering the symptoms of this holiday ruining gastric illness.

Despite this devastating parasite being present throughout the region for such a long time, tour operators such as First Choice and Thomson, who have recently rebranded to TUI, have continued to send unsuspecting British tourists into what could be described as a sickness hell.

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Advice from Public Health England on Cyclospora in Mexico

Nicholas Lukacs, a Holiday Claims Litigation Executive in our travel law team, contacted Public Health England (PHE) earlier this year to confirm that reports of the outbreaks in 2015 and 2016, encompassing reports of Cyclospora in 2017, were published by Eurosurveillance and were freely available:

In addition to these extensive reports, a myriad of epidemiological reports was published by PHE as can be seen in the letter below:

Page 1 of PHE letter to customer regarding Cyclospora in Mexico

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Page 2 of PHE letter to customer regarding Cyclospora in Mexico

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TUI didn't warm people until they arrived

Holidaymakers who contacted us have said that TUI didn't make them aware of the risks before booking. They say that TUI even failed to advise many of the British tourists we spoke to of the nightmarish environment of families falling sick one-by-one that they would arrive to before they left the UK, instead, waiting until they arrived to advise them that their resort was experiencing problems with Cyclospora.

Below is a copy of a letter issued to guests arriving at affected hotels:

TUI letter to customer regarding Cyclospora in Mexico

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This left many British families with little choice other than to endure the hellish situation that TUI put them in, as it can often cost hundreds, if not thousands to relocate a hotel once you have arrived.

Conversely, rival tour operator Virgin Holidays has provided advice to their customers on problems facing certain parts of Mexico on their Latest Travel Updates page, urging them to contact their Customer Service Team if they're affected.

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Over 400 holidays ruined

Over the past 3 years, we have helped over 400 people who have contracted Cyclospora in Mexico, and it looks like that number is only set to rise. The practice of taking hard-working British tourists money and sending them to places that are known for making people sick needs to be addressed.

We would urge anyone who is planning to travel to Mexico with TUI to contact them and ask what the current situation is in the Riviera Maya and Mexico, and what measures are being put in place to prevent future outbreaks.

What is Cyclospora?

Cyclospora is a parasite that embeds itself into whatever it comes into contact with, and once it has embedded itself, it can be nearly impossible to eradicate. It's often transferred from human faecal matter to food when it's irrigated or cleaned in contaminated water.

TUI sends guests to Cyclospora infested Mexico

This can be prevented. It would simply take TUI and other tour operators to thoroughly investigate the hotels that they offer on an all-inclusive package holiday basis, and ensure that they use safe and reliable suppliers, a reasonable step that they should be fulfilling for package holiday goers under The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

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What to do if you contract Cyclospora in Mexico

If you begin to suffer severe symptoms such as watery diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramping and abdominal pain while in Mexico, it's possible that you've contracted Cyclospora. It's advisable to make sure that your holiday rep and hotelier is aware of your condition, but most importantly; ensure that you receive help from a medical practitioner as soon as possible.

We recommend requesting that a stool sample test is carried out to specifically test for Cyclospora. Although it's likely that you’re symptoms will be severe, if you are diagnosed you can receive treatment.

Once you return to the UK speak to a member of our travel law team, as you may be able to join the hundreds of holidaymakers in making a 'no win no fee' compensation claim.

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Free holiday illness claim consultation

We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation on your case. It only takes a few minutes to complete and we can inform you of the best options available to you to pursue your claim.

Nick Harris - Head of International Travel Law

Contact us for free no-obligation holiday illness claims advice

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

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