Another holidaymaker is hospitalised following illness in Egypt

British tourist diagnosed with shigella virus

30.10.2008

A business woman and her partner, both from Wandsworth in London, are taking legal action against their Tour Operator, First Choice Holidays and Flights Limited, after their holiday in Taba, Egypt, was ruined when they both fell ill with severe gastric illness.

Gisella Crowley (38) and her partner, Jeremy Lake (37) travelled to the all inclusive Sofitel Taba Heights Hotel, Taba, Egypt in May 2007.

Miss Crowley says: "Within three days of arriving at the hotel both my partner and I fell ill with crippling stomach cramps and diarrhoea."

Due to the severity of her illness, Miss Crowley was unable to enjoy the facilities of the all inclusive resort as she was confined to her hotel room due to illness.

Miss Crowley also said "I was so poorly that I telephoned for medical assistance but I was persuaded that I did not have food poisoning."

On her departure from the hotel, Miss Crowley was still unwell and she was subsequently admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed as having contracted Shigella.

Miss Crowley says "I tried to put a brave face on my illness and kept thinking that I would soon get over it. However, several days after falling ill I was near collapsing and had to be placed on a drip at hospital.

"I believe that the poor standard of food hygiene at the hotel in Egypt is to blame for my becoming ill. I saw food being left out for long periods of time, the salads served up to guests looked substandard and the mayonnaise sauces were warm."

She continues: "I feel cheated about my holiday. I have lost my annual leave, I returned from the holiday, sick, stressed and depressed. I was very much looking forward to my holiday and do not feel as if I got any rest at all. Also, my birthday was totally ruined."

Jenny Brooks, a lawyer at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: "We act for hundreds of clients every year who take long-awaited holidays and then suffer gastric illness as a result of poor health and hygiene conditions at hotels. We believe that by following basic health and hygiene measures gastric illnesses such as this could well be avoided.

"I urge people who have been affected in a similar way by illness at the Sofitel Taba Heights in Egypt, or any other hotel, to come forward."