Riviera Maya Illness Outbreak: More Holidaymakers Come Forward After Illness Ruins Holidays

Public Health England Says 148 People Affected By Illness In Riviera Maya


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
A mother and her four children who were affected by an illness outbreak in Riviera Maya, a popular tourist area in Mexico, have instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of their illnesses.


Michelle Crowther, 37, and her four children, visited the Grand Sirensis Resort and Spa Riviera Maya resort in August 2016 for a two-week all-inclusive break, returning on 8 August, which they booked through Thomson.


However, just a few days into the trip all five of the family began to suffer with gastric illness and endured symptoms that included diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea and a fever.


Just two days after the family, from Croydon, returned to the UK, Public Health England (PHE) issued advice to holidaymakers travelling to the Riviera Maya coast to be aware of the risk of infection from, Cyclospora, a food and water bug.


The organisation noted that 204 cases had been reported since the start of June 2016 with 148 linked to hotels in the Riviera Maya area.


Professor Hugh Pennington, Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, who is a leading expert in microbiology, said: "Cyclospora is a parasite that causes acute diarrhoea and other symptoms such as abdominal pain. The diarrhoea can last several weeks. Cyclospora is particularly common in Central America and southern Asia and it is caught by consuming water and food contaminated with human faeces.  Salads and soft fruits washed with contaminated water have caused outbreaks."


Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner and an expert international personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who have successfully acted for thousand of clients who have suffered from gastric illness whilst abroad, said:


Expert Opinion
“The rise in the number of cases of people affected by gastric illness in the Riviera Maya region is very concerning. The region is very popular with British holidaymakers and in recent weeks we have been contacted by a significant number of those who have suffered illnesses after staying at resorts in the area.

“Clearly, this outbreak needs to be investigated quickly and carefully to determine a cause and it is also important that those who have suffered the horrendous symptoms are able to access the assistance that they may need. Those who are planning to travel to the region will also need reassurances that everything possible is being done to identify the source and to try and prevent the further spread of the illness.

“We have now launched our own investigation into the problems Michelle and her children suffered during what was supposed to be a luxury holiday at the Grand Sirensis Resort and Spa Riviera Maya resort. We are also assisting a number of other holidaymakers returning from this resort including those who suffered severe gastric symptoms after staying at the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort, which is also in the region, in June.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner


Michelle told her legal team that she had a number of concerns about the hygiene and food safety measures in place at the hotel. She said that food often appeared undercooked and that it was served lukewarm on a number of occasions.


She also said cold food was sometimes topped up with hot food, that flies were seen landing on the buffet food and that the toilet facilities in the communal areas were not always hygienic and gave off a terrible odour.


Stay-at-home mother Michelle said: “Our holiday was completely ruined and it wasn’t just us who were suffering the terrible symptoms. The pool was closed on a number of occasions because vomit was seen in the water.


“The symptoms we all suffered were absolutely terrible and not at all what we expected when we booked the holiday. We knew nothing about the illness outbreak in the region and feel let down by Thomson after the ordeal we went through.


“I’m still suffering with nausea and I want to know what caused the illness we suffered in Mexico. Hopefully, the investigation by PHE and our legal team at Irwin Mitchell will lead to some answers and changes will be made to try to protect other people who spent their hard-earned money on a holiday.”


Irwin Mitchell has launched a holiday guide here for travellers, complete with information on how to stay safe on holiday this summer. Anyone who suffered illness problems during a holiday in Riviera Maya should contact Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100.