Could Cyclospora hit the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in Mexico this summer?
In the summer of 2016 holidaymakers who decided to travel to certain regions of Mexico were left in the unfortunate position of facing a potential holiday illness upon their arrival. Reports were coming in of a possible Cyclospora outbreak that was affecting large numbers of British tourists, causing them to suffer debilitating symptoms.
As summer 2017 slowly edges closer, we have looked into some of our current cases and questioned the likelihood that we could see similar reports of a Cyclospora outbreak this summer.
What is Cyclospora?
Cyclospora is caused by a parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis that can infect your bowels and cause you to suffer severe bouts of diarrhoea. It can also result in a loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, lethargy and sensations of nausea, and some people report that they experienced vomiting, as well as fevers, body aches and headaches akin to flu-like symptoms. Even a few of these symptoms could be enough to bring the enjoyment of your holiday to an end.
This waterborne parasite can thrive in the water and is usually spread by contaminated faeces. It’s possible for holidaymakers to contract it by consuming fruit and vegetables that have been washed in faecal matter contaminated water, and once the parasite has attached itself to something like a lettuce leaf, it’s very difficult to eradicate without specialist cleaning tools. Because of this, it’s vital that tour operators ensure that the hotel food supply chain is free of contaminants.
Why did Cyclospora affect parts of Mexico?
It’s possible that the reported Cyclospora outbreak that occurred last summer in Mexico was started by a hotel food supply chain error, such as cleaning or irrigating produce in contaminated water. It’s unlikely that these suppliers would have supplied their goods to an individual hotel, meaning that the guests at multiple different chains may have been at risk.
How could the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun be at risk?
The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun is located within one of the areas that holidaymakers reported was affected by Cyclospora. It’s possible that either they were being supplied with the same potentially contaminated produce, or they may not have the hygiene procedures in place to prevent the spread of this debilitating illness. Either way, if the surrounding hotels are at risk, so too could the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun.
Experience of handling Mexico holiday illness claims
Last year we were instructed by British holidaymakers who stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in August who say that they suffered symptoms associated with Cyclospora. They informed us that their holiday was ruined by diarrhoea, lethargy, vomiting and headaches, commenting that they saw birds in the restaurant areas, noticed that the pool water didn’t always appear clean and said that the food wasn’t always hot.
How do birds spread disease?
Being able to watch birds fly and play while you’re eating a meal in a hot country like Mexico might seem quite idyllic, however, they can present quite a health risk. Birds tend to use standing water to bathe, but of course being birds they do so indiscriminately and don’t take into account the possibility that the water could be contaminated.
They also have the potential to pick up the faecal matter on their feet and in their beaks, and this can soon be transferred to your table, your plate, your cutlery and potentially even your food if they come into contact with it.
What should I do if Cancun experiences a Cyclospora outbreak in 2017?
In the event that a Cyclospora outbreak occurs at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun this summer, there are some important steps that you can take. In addition to receiving medical help, it’s important to gather as much evidence as you can, including writing down what you ate, any hygiene concerns you have, as well as taking pictures or recording video. It’s also important to inform the hotel staff members if you get sick, and make your tour operator are aware of the problem.
The reason it’s so important to gather evidence is you might be able to claim holiday illness compensation, and your evidence could help to support your case.
Claim for holiday illness with a travel law specialist
Our travel law team have experience handling Cyclospora claims made by British tourists returning from Mexico, and because of this, we could help you to make a ‘no win no fee‘ claim for holiday illness compensation under The Package Travel Regulations 1992.
We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation during which we can assess your case and advise you of the best course of action to pursue your claim, as well as the amount of compensation you could expect to receive.