Swimming with the Rodents at Le Royal Holiday Resort, Sharm el Sheikh


We have heard reports of possible hygiene issues, exposing holidaymakers to the risk of holiday illness at the Le Royal Holiday Resort in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. One of the more unusual complaints we have seen has related to dead rodents, such as mice and rats in the swimming pool.

Rats and Cups

Examining the consumer travel website Tripadvisor, we have found several reviews complaining about several different hygiene issues ranging from cold and lukewarm food, dirty plates being left out, dried blood on the bedsheets, all the way up to faeces and rats in the pool. While having them in the pool is bad enough, what the reviews seem to suggest is that they have been left in there without closing the pool!

Illness at Le Royal Holiday Resort in Egypt
One reviewer commented that the pools were shut due to the 'ex-rodents' in the waters, while it isn't clear if they were closed immediately after they got in there or not. However, we don't hold much hope after the same reviewer mentioned that faeces were only removed from the pool when a young child fished it out with a plastic beaker. That's the first time we've heard anything like this.

The kinds of illnesses you can get from faecal contamination include Shigellosis, more commonly known as bacillary dysentery. At first, you may just notice the typical symptoms of stomach pains and diarrhoea. However, some people may develop a more serious case of the illness, which can include symptoms such as:

  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fever

Dysentery – What Puts me at Risk?

The risk factors for dysentery are well known. The condition is a lot more common in the developing world, due to poor sanitation and unclean water supplies. Obviously in situations like this, unclean water supply extends to dirty pools. The bacterium spreads by entering its victim's digestive system, and producing the symptoms of dysentery.

"Sometimes, people think the salad or a simple apple will keep them away from food poisoning on holiday. However, this is a big misconception." Says Simon Lomax, Holiday Accident & Illness Claims Manager at Simpson Millar LLP.

"Fruit and vegetables can potentially be washed in contaminated water, and if the plants they come from have been fertilised with contaminated manure, indicating two risk factors for the so called 'healthy option'."

Bacillary dysentery can spread easily in enclosed area, and after someone has been infected, they can still infect others for up to 4 weeks. This means that if they're aware of a potential outbreak, they should take some simple precautions:

  • Ensure members of staff wash their hands (though this should be done anyway!)
  • Make sure the water they use for the grounds is clean
  • Clean surfaces and communal areas thoroughly

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