'The Norovirus Defence' at Holiday Village, Costa Del Sol


We've heard further reports of problems at the Holiday Village Costa Del Sol, Benalmadena, Spain. We first commented upon how the hotel management seem to be blaming the problems on norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, suggesting it was also caught on the flights or at the airport.

Problems at the Holiday Village, Costa Del Sol

We believe that Cryptosporidium is to blame for making many of the people ill at the resort, especially since we have heard of 'logging' (defecating) in the pool.

So Much for Clean Pools

In yet another outbreak at one of First Choice's Holiday Villages, we're seeing disappointed guests take to travel review website TripAdvisor. Complaints can be found of sickness and diarrhoea, with the illness being so violent that children couldn't make it to the bathroom in time. The hotel doctors were also called out in some instances, apparently costing €100 per call out.

Each of these reviews was responded to by hotel management, blaming their symptoms on norovirus, and saying that the illness was likely to have spread at the airport, before people even got to the resort.

Not satisfied by this, we decided to dig a little deeper after one person who has approached us was diagnosed with Cryptosporidium by her GP. Unfortunately, the resort has been a victim of people having a 'faecal accident' in the pool. Whether it's children not wearing nappies, teenagers participating in 'logging', or even someone feeling particularly ill and not getting out in time, this exposes people to the risk of catching Cryptosporidium, a typical holiday illness.

This seems to have reached its peak when staff at the holiday village resorted to telling people over the tannoy system to stop defecating in the pool (whether on purpose or by accident). Even the manager came out to the pool at one point to tell people himself to stop doing it, demonstrating how rife the problem was.

Thoughts from our Law Expert

Cryptosporidium is a parasitic infection that is commonly spread through a 'faecal-oral route', which means that bacteria from faeces enter the body through the mouth.

Nick Harris, Head of International Holiday Travel Law tells us the ways in which he sees Cryptosporidium spread, specifically at all-inclusive holiday resorts:

"We tend to see cryptosporidium spread either due to problems in the swimming pool, or a lax attitude towards food hygiene. Cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine, so you need to make sure pools are cleaned thoroughly and any 'code browns' need to be dealt with immediately."

"When it comes to food, fruits and salads can sometimes end up being washed by contaminated water, but usually the problem is that kitchen staff just simply don't wash their hands when handling food."

Cryptosporidium, like many other parasites, is microscopic, and so it can be very difficult to detect it. By now everybody knows to be cautious about un-bottled water abroad, but this goes to show that there are other ways in which you can ingest Cryptosporidium.

Simpson Millar LLP is representing a large group of holidaymakers believed to have suffered from Cryptosporidium abroad. Some of these people may well suffer from long term health complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, and so we are urging people to contact us about a possible holiday illness claim.

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