Claiming Compensation for Cryptosporidium on Holiday

Posted on: 3 mins read
Paul Stevens

Senior Associate, Holiday Claims

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Cryptosporidium can be caused by consumption of contaminated water or through in swimming pools, so if you booked an all-inclusive holiday and fell ill due to hygiene failings at your hotel, you may be entitled to compensation.

Our Holiday Claims Solicitors have years of experience of helping clients secure compensation after a holiday sickness.

Contact us for a free consultation and our experts will assess whether your claim is likely to be awarded compensation. Ask us if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium infects many travellers, but particularly those who spend their holidays overseas in and around hotel swimming pools. The medical term for the condition caused by this holiday sickness bug is Cryptosporidiosis.

Travellers are usually infected by water contaminated by faecal matter and unhygienic practices. Whilst the infection is commonly waterborne, it can also be spread from hotel food and infected food handlers.

How Can I Get Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidiosis is normally passed to holidaymakers from:

  • Hotel food handlers - Cryptosporidium infection spreads by food handlers failing to wash their hands.
  • Drinks containing ice made from contaminated water.
  • Use of untreated water in the preparation of food including salads and fruit.
  • Consuming infected drinking water or swimming pool water in hotels abroad
  • Drinking infected milk

For more information see Holiday Illness and Sickness claims.

Cryptosporidiosis Symptoms

Common Cryptosporidiosis symptoms include:

  • Loose watery stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration

The usual incubation period for Cryptosporidiosis is 2 to 14 days, and the condition can last for 2 to 3 weeks. However, in some cases, we’ve seen cases of this holiday illness lasting as long as 5 or 6 weeks. The symptoms can come and go so you may think you have made a full recovery only for the symptoms to come back a few days later.

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What Your Hotel Should Be Doing

In order to prevent an outbreak of Cryptosporidium, holiday hotels and resorts must ensure that the water in their swimming pool is crystal clear and that their pools are cleaned regularly. In addition, they should be subjected to modern and regular filtration techniques.

Quite often, the pool water is contaminated due to a faecal contamination incident. Should this happen, the hotel needs to shut down the pool and ensure something called backwashing takes place.

Unfortunately, there have been incidents of untoward holidaymakers intentionally “doing their business” - or “logging”. What people who engage in such foolish behaviour don’t realise is that their actions can result in serious public health issues.

Tour operators should also be performing checks to ensure tap water and water used in the preparation of food is treated and does not contain harmful pathogens. There have been incidents of Cryptosporidium associated with infected bar staff preparing drinks by picking ice cubes up using their bare unwashed hands.

Holidaymakers should also be made aware of procedures for handling faecal/vomit accidents to reduce the likelihood of a Cryptosporidium outbreak.

What to Do If You Get Cryptosporidium

If you suffer from Cryptosporidium sickness on holiday, you may not be alone, so find out if other guests at your hotel or resort have also fallen ill. If others are coming down with a sickness bug, collect their names and telephone numbers, as they may be able to strengthen your case when you make a holiday sickness claim.

The only real way you can find if you have contracted the bug is through a stool sample testing positive. You should obtain a sample upon your return to the UK via your GP, even if you think you have recovered. If not, you could be infecting other people, particularly if you are involved caring for others or working in the catering industry.

Another way to boost your chances of success when taking legal action is to collect photographic evidence of the dirty swimming pool. You should ideally take pictures before the hotel has had a chance to make any changes to the pool area, so you have a record of how it appeared at the time you started feeling ill.

Next, report your concerns to the hotel and tour operator representative and document them on a complaint form. Insist on this if necessary, as a paper form means there is a physical record of your complaint and the date when it was made.

Your travel provider may attempt to settle your claim with you straight away, perhaps by offering you holiday vouchers or some other gesture of goodwill. However, what they’re offering may represent just a tiny fraction of your illness compensation you are entitled to.

It’s therefore worth refusing any offers until you’ve sought expert legal advice. Our Holiday Claims Solicitors can advise you and, if we take on your claim, can help you get the compensation and rehabilitation support you deserve.

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