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Woman Contracts Serious Parasitic Illness on Holiday in Cyprus

22-year-old now taking legal action after contracting Cryptosporidium


A woman is taking legal action after she was left with no choice but to call in sick for the first two weeks of her new job after falling ill with a parasitic illness, Cryptosporidium, during a holiday to Cyprus with her sister earlier this year.

Holly Chandler, was admitted to hospital a week after returning from the week-long holiday to Aktea Beach Village in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, after suffering from severe diarrhoea, vomiting and headaches.

The 22-year-old from Newcastle Upon Tyne, has now instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to pursue legal action against tour operator TUI UK Limited, after doctors at the Royal Victoria Infirmary told her that she had most likely contracted the infection from a swimming pool at the hotel in Greece.

Holly had booked the getaway, between April 13 and April 20 this year, with her sister Brooke before she began a new job in a pet shop but her plans had to be put on hold when just three days after arriving home she was violently ill. Holly remained at home for the rest of the week before heading to her new job for her first day the following Monday. However, when her new manager saw how ill she was, Holly was sent home to rest and remained off work for two weeks.

When Holly’s symptoms failed to wear off after a few more days, she went to A&E and was admitted immediately for tests.

“It was then I learnt I had a parasitic infection and I was to be sent to the infectious diseases unit at my local hospital, and an Environmental Health Officer contacted me,” said Holly.

“I had so many tests – three blood tests, x-rays, swabs taken, you name it. It was horrific, I was so ill. I barely had any energy and to make matters worse, I was missing the start of my new job which just made me incredibly anxious.”

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal infection cryptosporidiosis. While this parasite can be spread in several different ways, water, both for drinking and recreation is the most common way parasites spread.

Holly was advised by infectious disease specialists that she most likely contracted Cryptosporidium from the hotel swimming pool, where she said she saw stray cats bathing towards the end of her holiday. Holly also reported that a number of cats were seen in the open-air restaurant around the buffet area and that food was left exposes to the elements for long periods of time.

“It has really knocked me for six, she said. The first thing a lot of people do on holiday is head for the pool and I was no different. But a few days in I saw local cats washing and drinking from it, and birds swimming in it, so I gave it a miss.

“I did not see anyone clean or cover the pool during the time I was there. In my view, the hotel just was not up to its four-star rating.”

The illness has left Holly’s liver inflamed which her doctors have said is connected to the parasitic infection and, while she has now been able to start work, she is still being closely monitored by the hospital. She has recently undergone an ultrasound scan on her abdomen and her liver and has an appointment next month at The Royal Victoria Infirmary to discuss the results.

Expert Opinion
“Holly continues to suffer an inflamed liver and needs further medical treatment before she can fully recover.

“Cryptosporidium can be a very distressing illness, and one that could have been so much worse for Holly had she not been young and strong enough to fight it.

“No holidaymaker should expect to fall ill from a serious illness such as cryptosporidium, but Holly and her sister expected a four star experience at the Aktea Beach Village and got anything but. We are now investigating on their behalf.”
Jatinder Paul, Associate

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