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HOLIDAY HEALTH ALERT

By on October 23, 2016

Deadly new strain of drug-resistant TYPHOID ‘could wreak havoc in Europe’s most popular holiday resorts’

Medical experts have warned travellers that it is ‘only a matter of time’ before strains of antibiotic-resistant typhoid hit holiday destinations

A DEADLY new strain of typhoid could hit some of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations, worried health chiefs have warned.

The bacterial infection, known as ‘Salmonella Typhi’ can cause fever, vomiting and even death – with doctors struggling to treat the infection with antibiotics.

Travellers have been warned of typhoid in popular holiday destinations, including Sharm el-Sheikh

A leading British food scientist said: “Salmonella typhi is becoming more prevalent as some strains become antibiotic resistant.I’d argue that it’s only a matter of time before it rears its head in some of the most popular holiday resorts, where populations from all over the world congregate.It’s a worrying situation indeed and tourists need to be vigilant and not eat any food that is served lukewarm where these bacteria can grow.”

Medical experts have warned that salmonella typhi is drug resistant, with travellers to be on their guard

 

Holiday-makers travelling to resorts in Cancun, Mexico could also be at risk

Leading British food scientist said “resorts including those in tourist-filled Greece, Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, Cape Verde and the Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico, could be affected, adding: “Iftyphoid turns up in such resorts, there is a potential risk for huge numbers of people coming home in body bags due to typhoid spreading throughout the resort. The strain had already claimed 300,000 lives in Africa, with the deadly infection potentially spreading to other areas.”

“The warning signs have been there for a number of years but only now is the scale of the issue becoming apparent.”

The spread of the disease has now become so acute that is was addressed at the UN General Assembly in New York earlier this month, with it the fourth time in history that the health issue has had to be addressed.

Last week, the UN meeting also canvassed the growing awareness by governments and disease experts that drug resistance is not just a health problem but an enormous economic burden and security threat.

It also highlighted the danger of superbugs, with many of the incoming diseases unable to be treated with traditional medicines.

If treatments like antibiotics become ineffective, medical experts have warned that even the most minor infections would be untreatable, bringing back a level of danger not seen since the 19th century.

About 700,000 people die every year from drug-resistant infections, according to the World Health Organisation – a number that could rise.

Without policies to halt the spread of this antibiotic resistant food poisoning bacteria, the toll could soar to well above 10 million deaths annually by 2050, or one person every three seconds, according to the British commission review – more than the number of deaths each year from cancer.

Areas in Greece could also be at risk of the drug-resistant bug

Chris Parry, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), said “Typhi and Paratyphi are a big problem in areas that remain poor, such as urban slums and impoverished rural communities, and have increased in some areas because of antibiotic resistance.

“The disease is always a potential threat for holidaymakers if they are not careful about what they eat or drink.

“Yet there is a vaccine available for travellers to protect against typhoid.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Director General Margaret Chan spoke out about the issue of diseases becoming resistant to antibiotics, saying: “This is already an historical moment for countries of the world. Heads of states and heads of governments agreed to address a neglected issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“AMR is not a new issue, but it is a multidimensional issue, it has to be addressed at the national level … because no single sector, be it the agriculture sector, the health sector or trade sector can act on its own.”

Alan Hoey, Managing Director at Holiday Sickness Claims said “there has been a lot of ‘hype’ from travel companies, tour operators and hotels abroad, and even the UK press after the sudden increase in the number of holiday sickness claims being reported throughout 2016, and they state a lot of the claims are spurious and false, however, we do strongly believe that the awareness of consumers who now know that they can make a claim if they catch food poisoning and that redress is available, is the reason for the increase of claims.”

“Tour Operators, Resorts and Hotels just do not have the correct procedures in place to A, protect holiday makers in the first place and ensure each hotel has excellent health and safety procedures in place and formal records are kept and regularly inspected by tour operators as preventative measures, and B, when a recordable matter arrives, there simply aren’t procedures in place in the vast majority if not all of these hotels and resorts to address the matter properly. To say that all of these claims are false is libellous and no doubt the tour operators settling these claims without much of a defence speaks volumes in itself.”

Some of the holiday sickness stories we hear and see are an absolute disgrace and let’s not forget an over whelming duty lies with the Tour Operator to protect our UK citizens travelling abroad for a well-deserved holiday and spending thousands of pounds to do so, are covered under the European Package Travel Regulations. Previously, Flight-Plus holidays were not explained to holiday makers and particularly the difference in cover between a Flight-Plus and a Packaged Holiday, meaning those suffering sickness on a Flight-Plus holiday didn’t have the same amount of protection and couldn’t claim. Well that legislation was updated in 2015 and now it is possible for Flight-Plus holiday makers who suffer holiday sickness to make a claim under these regulations and recently we have seen some claims being brought against Tour Operators under ‘The Sale of Goods and Services Act’.

Our specialist panel solicitors work No Win No Fee and will represent any UK consumer who has suffered sickness, illness or accidents abroad.

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