Cryptosporidium Outbreak at your Turkish Hotel?
Was the Hotel Pool to blame?
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes severe
holiday illnesses amongst hundreds of travellers each year staying at hotels
abroad especially in Turkey. This diarrhoeal sickness, known as
Cryptosporidiosis, causes symptoms such as fever, stomach cramps, nausea
and vomiting which can range in severity depending on the individual.
A Cryptosporidiosis outbreak at your Turkish Hotel could therefore lead to many
compensation claims against UK tour operators such as First Choice,
Thomas Cook, Thomson, Cosmos and Virgin holidays because the illness effectively
curtails holidays resulting in illness and disappointment.
Illness Outbreaks in Turkey
Although the occurrence of the illness is worldwide, a number of large Cryptosporidiosis
outbreaks have occurred at hotels in Turkey in the last few years, resulting in
large group action compensation claims against UK tour operators.
The most recent illness outbreak occurred at the
Holiday Village Turkey complex in Sarigerme, a complex sold by First Choice
Holidays as part of its all inclusive hotel programme. Simpson Millar LLP’s travel lawyers
have also dealt with group claims at the Club Cettia Resort and
the Tarham Didim Hotel against Thomas Cook.
The parasite that causes the cryptosporidium travel bug is often
spread via small oocysts which are shed in large numbers by an infected person and
subsequently can be ingested by another unsuspecting victim. Transmission can be
from direct contact, but in all inclusive hotels the bug is often passed through
contaminated swimming pools or occasionally via food or water –
the holiday bug therefore has the potential to affect large numbers of hotel guests.
Cryptosporidium in Hotel Swimming Pools
To date, disinfection alone appears to have been advocated in many Turkish hotels
for swimming pool decontamination, but is this method effective
or should more be done to prevent this holiday illness?
Unfortunately, cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine at normal levels, due to
the possibility of shielding the bugs by faecal matter. However, experts claim that
in the event of a diarrhoeal accident in a swimming pool, and consequent pool closure,
shock treating a swimming pool with a high dosage of chlorine for at least 8 hours
will decontaminate the water.
The advice however emphasises the need for hotels in Turkey to maintain circulation
and minimise the possibility of faecal matter shielding the cryptosporidium bug
from the disinfectant.
Turkey Cryptosporidium Compensation Claims
holiday makers should therefore be very wary about hotels in Turkey which simply
fish faecal matter out the pool with a net and/or whose management fail to close
pools to permit cleaning to take place by way of shock treatment and pool water
turnover, thereby allowing sufficient filtration to take place.
It is of course inconvenient to close pools for 8 hours, but a failure to do so
could render the hotel in breach of its duty to exercise reasonable skill and care
– an invitation for ill holiday makers to claim compensation via a travel solicitor.
Modern Filtration Techniques Could Reduce Pool Closure Times
The flow characteristics of a swimming pool and the filtration methods used will
have considerable influence on the number of turnovers required to clear contamination
down to acceptable levels.
Travel lawyers claim that modern hotels backed by large multinational companies
should be able to influence hotel chains abroad to prevent, or at least reduce the
risk to a minimum, of a cryptosporidium outbreak.
A combination of modern filter techniques including Ozone treatment; Ultra Violet
irradiation; Chlorine Dioxide etc combined with a high flow rate could reduce the
risk of a cryptosporidium outbreak in Turkey and, indeed, in Europe. Hotels implementing
a faecal accident plan, in essence warning holiday makers about the risks, would
also help to reduce the number of infections.
Specialist Travel Law Team at Simpson Millar LLP
At Simpson Millar LLP we specialise in pursuing compensation claims for holiday makers
who have returned to the UK ill with cryptosporidium, whether from Turkey or elsewhere.
Our Team of dedicated holiday lawyers take on claims on a ‘no win
no fee’ basis and regularly help victims of a cryptosporidium holiday bug.
Call us 0808 145 1353
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