Is there a history of Cyclospora at the Sensatori Resort Mexico?
In the summer of 2016, we were inundated with enquiries surrounding a purported Cyclospora outbreak in Mexico, and one of the hotels reported to have been affected was the Sensatori Resort Mexico. While the summer is some way off, we’ve looked into our current cases and questioned whether there could be similar problems for the region once the holiday season hits its peak in 2017.
Holidaymakers report illness in the summer
Roughly between the months of July and September, there were a large number of reports that the lesser known Cyclospora parasite had affected guests at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. While Cyclospora can be considered to be contagious, it appears that in this instance; suppliers of fruit and vegetables were to blame, especially when the widespread reports of people suffering the symptoms of this gastric illness, with some receiving a confirmed diagnosis.
The Sensatori Resort Mexico in the Riviera Maya
The Sensatori Resort Mexico, also known as the Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Mexico, is offered to British tourists on an all-inclusive basis as part of a package holiday. The hotel is situated in the popular Riviera Maya region on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and advertised by tour operators such as TUI-owned TUI Holidays as featuring gourmet food. Possibly unbeknownst to the hotel restaurant staff; it appears from reports made by holidaymakers that their produce was contaminated with Cyclospora.
How Cyclospora is spread
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a waterborne parasite, meaning that it can survive in water. It’s predominantly spread through contact with contaminated faecal matter, and it can be contracted through the consumption of water that contains particles of infected faeces. Unfortunately, avoiding drinking from the local water supply might not be enough to prevent your holiday from being ruined.
Due to the characteristics of the Cyclospora parasite, if the water that is used to wash fruit or vegetables contains this nasty holiday bug, it can be transferred to the produce and subsequently consumed by the guests of a hotel restaurant.
Food suppliers in the region are unlikely to only supply one hotel, and it’s likely that the potentially contaminated fruits and vegetables that appear to have been delivered to hotels throughout the Riviera Maya, were also delivered to the Sensatori Resort Mexico.
Reports of issues at the Sensatori Resort Mexico
The holidaymakers who have instructed us following a diagnosis of Cyclospora by their GP were on the whole quite positive about the Sensatori Resort Mexico, with many commenting that it appeared to be quite clean and hygienic.
There are a few of the guests who contacted us who highlighted problems such as the food handling staff not wearing gloves or hairnets, a perception that the food was not up to 5 star standards and was at times served cold, as well as mentions that the plastic cups at the hotel didn’t appear to have been cleaned properly. Our clients informed us that they encountered vomit in the hotel swimming pool which wasn’t cleaned properly, and that the shower and tap water smelled of vomit.
Debilitating symptoms reported by guests
The holidaymakers who contacted us say that they experienced a range of symptoms, including nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, lethargy, muscle pains, vomiting, loss of appetite and more. Some of the holidaymakers who contacted us also told us that once their initial symptoms subsided they continued to suffer irregular bowel movements, including on-going problems with a sensation of bloating.
Possible cause of the reported outbreak
One of the common possible causes of this reported outbreak was the mint used in drinks at the hotel. Unfortunately, if the mint used in these drinks was the cause of their condition, there’s not much that they could have done to save themselves from a sick holiday.
Ideally, your tour operator should put processes in place to prevent you and your family from becoming unwell, and this includes ensuring that the supply chain that provides your all-inclusive hotel with food is as free of harmful contaminants as possible.
What you can do to stay healthy on holiday
There are a few steps that you can take to reduce the risk that you’ll suffer an illness on holiday. Checking review websites such as TripAdvisor for mentions of holiday illness can be a good way to find out if there’s a problem before you depart, but in the event that you arrive at your resort to find that a number of guests are unwell, there are a few things that you can do:
- Advise your tour operator of the problem
- Inform the hotel management
- Try to see a doctor as soon as possible
- If you think you have Cyclospora ask to be tested for it
- See your GP in the UK as soon as possible
- Contact a travel law specialist for advice on claiming compensation
Claim holiday illness compensation
If you contract Cyclospora on a package holiday to an all-inclusive hotel such as the Sensatori Resort Mexico, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you could be entitled to claim compensation from your tour operator.
Our travel law specialists can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation during which we can assess your case and advise you if making a ‘no win no fee‘ holiday illness compensation claim is the right option for you.