What to Do if You Get a Holiday Illness
If you’ve suffered from an unexpected illness on holiday, then you could have grounds to make a holiday illness claim.
Was your trip booked as part of an all-inclusive package holiday deal, and the illness you suffered was caused by the resort or its conditions? If so, then under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, you may be entitled to compensation.
Below are some of the steps you can take to improve your chances of making a successful holiday illness claim and getting the compensation settlement you deserve.
Get Medical Attention
Visiting the doctor during your holiday could be vital if you plan to make a holiday illness claim, so you can get a proper diagnosis. A healthcare professional should also be able to tell you if you’ve been infected with a pathogen - a bacterial microorganism that’s a typical cause of diarrhoea and food poisoning.
Make sure you keep all doctor’s notes and receipts, as this could be useful evidence if you’re thinking of taking legal action.
Take Photos and Videos
If you believe poor standards at your hotel or resort were the direct cause of your holiday illness, then get as much photographic or video evidence of this as you can. This can be vital in proving your version of events, before your hotel or tour operator can make any major changes.
Tell Hotel Staff and Tour Operator
Inform hotel staff or your tour operator rep as soon as possible, and write down the details of every call and conversation straight away, so you have a record of what was said.
Collect Witness Details, Names and Addresses
Speak to people you went on holiday with or met there and get their contact details, as they may be able to back up your point of view when you make a claim.
Could Contaminated Food Have Made Me Ill?
Some illnesses, such as gastroenteritis, can be spread through contaminated food, so if you’re suffering from this illness, or any other stomach problem, it could be worth recording what you ate around the time you fell ill. This could prevent you or your family consuming any more contaminated food.
Potential causes of contamination can include food being served at lukewarm temperatures, food not being cooked thoroughly and food being reheated or left standing for too long. Food service areas can also be contaminated by birds and other animals.
Drinking Water Risk
The water you drink could be another possible cause of holiday sickness. In some countries, the tap water isn’t fit for consumption, so if you order a drink with ice, check that it’s not been made with tap water, as that could be enough to make you ill. Similarly, if you order a cocktail with fruit in it, the fruit may have been washed in tap water or have been grown in contaminated conditions.
Other Hygiene Problems
Gastroenteritis can also be caused by contact with another person carrying the bacteria, so even if you’re eating food that seems fine, it could still be tainted if, for instance, the person preparing it didn’t wash their hands first before handling it.
Winged insects can also pose a problem, as flies can carry all sorts of diseases, and if they’re able to make contact with food, it’s likely to become tainted.
Swimming pools are another potential health hazard for holidaymakers. Usually, it’s simple enough to tell if a pool is clean at a glance, and most hotels and resorts will have a member of staff skimming the pool each morning. But if the correct chemicals aren’t applied to the pool to neutralise invisible pollutants, such as sweat, urine, saliva and dead skin, as well as cosmetics and sun cream, then you could be at risk of developing an infection.
Don’t Neglect Your Health
While your focus may be firmly on finding out the cause of your illness, don’t forget to try to lessen your symptoms if you can. For instance, you could:
- Drink plenty of fluids - This will help to combat dehydration brought on by diarrhoea
- Use over the counter medications - Paracetamol can be used to alleviate the pain of stomach cramps or aches, but make sure you follow recommended dosage guidelines. Rehydrating sachets such as Dioralyte or the foreign equivalent can assist your body with replacing essential water and salts lost through the illness
- Get plenty of rest – You're on holiday to relax, so sleep and avoid strain where you can
- Try to eat – If you can, try to eat to keep your strength up. Small amounts of plain foods such as soup, rice, pasta or bread can help
While these steps might not cure your holiday illness completely, they could at least help you enjoy the remainder of your holiday.
For free legal advice, call our Holiday Claims Solicitors
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