Four People Hospitalised And Eight Diagnosed With Salmonella Following Stay At Hurghada Resort
Specialist international serious injury lawyers have issued Court proceedings after dozens of holidaymakers fell ill during a stay at a five-star hotel in Egypt.
A total of 36 people were struck down with gastric symptoms while on holiday at the Jaz Aquamarine hotel in Hurghada between January and the end of October in 2019. Of these, eight people were diagnosed with salmonella, one with the stomach bug giardiasis, and one with a strain of E.coli and the associated bacterial infection shigella. Four of the holidaymakers were hospitalised – one in Egypt and three on their return to the UK.
All had booked their holiday through tour operator TUI UK Ltd.
Among those affected were a newlywed couple from Rhoose, Wales, celebrating their honeymoon with their daughter, a Croydon mum and her two children, an electrician from Hull, a retired tiler from Stoke-on-Trent, and a couple from Rhondda Valley.
They instructed specialist international serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the causes of their illnesses. The legal experts, who have vast experience in representing holidaymakers affected by illness, including dozens who have previously stayed at this hotel in 2016, 2017 and 2018, are now pursing legal action through the courts.
Expert Opinion“To hear that so many people were struck down with debilitating illness after staying at Hurghada’s Jaz Aquamarine hotel is deeply concerning.
Our clients were understandably looking forward to their holidays and were left devastated when they developed gastric symptoms. These types of illnesses can lead to severe long-term conditions and should never be downplayed.
The families continue to have questions regarding what they’ve been through, but TUI have thus far failed to engage with us. While they would rather not be in this position, they feel they have no option but to commence Court proceedings to help them obtain the answers they deserve.
We call on TUI to work with us to help resolve these cases. In the meantime, we’ll continue to support our clients however we can.”
Hannah Clifford - Solicitor
Rhoose, near Barry
Myfanwy Bunting, 50, from Rhoose, travelled to the Jaz Aquamarine hotel with her husband Dean, 49, and daughter Edan, eight, on 22 July, 2019. The holiday had been booked for the couple’s honeymoon.
Just three days into the family’s two-week break, Dean and Edan began suffering from symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, fever, sweats and lethargy. Myfanwy fell ill the following day.
They returned home to the UK on 5 August. By then, Edan’s symptoms had stopped. However, Dean and Myfanwy’s illness continued.
Myfanwy consulted her GP on 6 August, where she underwent tests. She was subsequently diagnosed with E.coli and the closely-related bacterial infection, shigella.
Myfanwy, a self-employed property manager, said: “Our wedding guests had all given us money for our honeymoon and we were all really looking forward to it, so I felt awful having to tell them it was wasted as we spent most of our time unwell.
“While we were there, we noticed that the hotel kept shutting the pools for long periods of time. We were also concerned over the food not being handled well in the restaurants. We even saw some people picking up food, tasting it and then putting it back.
“After we fell ill, we spoke to our reps and hotel staff but we feel like they just fobbed us off and tried telling us that it was because we weren’t used to the heat or the spicy food. But we were certain this wasn’t the reason.
“I’ve never been so poorly, but it was still a huge shock when I found out I had E.coli as well as another gastric infection. It’s not something you expect to have to deal with on your honeymoon.
“Our holiday was ruined and Dean and I still suffer from gastric problems to this day. While nothing will make up for what we’ve been through, we just want answers now and to know if anything else could have been done to stop it happening to others.”
Michelle Crowther, 43, and her two children, Molly, 13, and George, 10, from Croydon, stayed at the Jaz Aquamarine hotel between 16 and 30 July, 2019. They were joined by Michelle’s long-term boyfriend and his two children as well as family friends, bringing the party to a total of 11.
Michelle, Molly and George fell ill shortly after arrival, complaining of abdominal cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, sweating and lethargy.
George required medical attention while still abroad, and was administered IV antibiotics at the hotel clinic. He was also given oral medication.
Following their return home to the UK on 31 July, Michelle went to see her GP. She was forced to take one week off from her job as a spa therapist at the time, and worked reduced hours between 1 September, 2019 and 29 February 2020.
Michelle, now employed as a vaccinator, said: “When we arrived, our first impressions were good. However, beneath the surface there were a lot of things wrong.
“I recall the buffet food being left exposed and it was lukewarm at times. The same utensils were used to handle both raw and cooked food, and children were often seen touching the food. There were even flies around it.
“I also remember our bed sheets weren’t cleaned for eight days.
“Falling ill so early into our holiday left us unable to enjoy any part of it. Seeing my children unwell was the worst part, and I’m still not 100 per cent yet. All we want now are some answers as to how this happened.”
Electrician David Musgrave, 56, from Hull, travelled to Hurghada with his family.
Their holiday ran from 1 to 15 August, 2019, with David starting to suffer from symptoms six days in. He complained of cramps, diarrhoea, sweats, fever, nausea and lethargy. He also had a lack of appetite.
Once he returned home to the UK, David went to see his GP and underwent tests. He was subsequently diagnosed with salmonella, a serious bacterial infection, and also lost 20 pounds in weight within one week as a result of his illness. In addition, his granddaughters were unwell and his daughter was also diagnosed with salmonella.
He said: “We were so excited to arrive in Egypt and couldn’t wait to start exploring. In general the place was nice, but we feel the hygiene was absolutely terrible.
“I recall the food being very repetitive, with people constantly picking stuff up from the buffet with their hands and putting it back. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when we heard people were falling ill.
“It was a shock though when I found out that I had salmonella as that’s not something you expect to pick up on holiday.
“The break had been booked to celebrate my wife’s birthday but it was completely spoiled. It’s the worst holiday I’ve ever had; I’ve never been that ill in my life. Now I just want to know why.”
Neil Jones, 58, from Stoke-on-Trent, was holidaying with his girlfriend and two friends at the Jaz Aquamarine hotel between 1 and 13 July, 2019.
On 3 July Neil began suffering from bloating, severe diarrhoea and abdominal cramps, low energy and a lack of appetite. His illness lasted until 25 July.
Neil, a retired wall and floor tiler, said: “I remember feeling so unwell and that the cramps were unbearable. I’m a grown man and I was nearly brought to tears by them.
“It was supposed to be a fun holiday, but my illness ruined the whole thing.
“When my girlfriend went to the chemist abroad, they asked her if we were from the Jaz Aqua before she even said what the issue was. She also heard other holidaymakers discussing getting ill there.
“Clearly something wasn’t right there and we all deserve some answers.”
Ton Pentre, Rhondda Valley
Dean Cook, 55, travelled to the Jaz Aquamarine hotel with his wife Linda, 53, on 14 October 2019. The couple, from Rhondda Valley, were on a two-week holiday.
On 19 October, Linda began to suffer from diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, fever and sweats. Dean fell ill with gastric symptoms the following day.
Following their return to the UK on 28 October, Linda and Dean both consulted their GP.
By 6 November, Dean was beginning to feel better, but had lost 7lbs. Linda, however, remained unwell for around eight weeks, losing around 10lbs. To this day, she still has on-going issues.
Dean, a semi-retired supply teacher, said: “We were really looking forward to our holiday which we had booked to celebrate my semi-retirement. But it was not the holiday we had hoped for.
“It was clear something wasn’t right as at one point, staff were going around asking people if they had suffered from illness.
“I also noticed that the food in the restaurant was left uncovered, and raw and cooked meats were being handled with the same utensils.
“I’ve stayed in similar hotels which have been immaculate, but this one was a world apart in cleanliness. It was shocking to see and hear how many people were unwell. It just got worse and worse as the holiday went on.
“All we want now are some answers, as you don’t go on holiday and expect that.”
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling holiday illness cases