"Many holidaymakers become ill each year from ingesting dirty swimming pool water"
Cryptosporidium – danger in the hotel swimming pool
Cryptosporidium, often found in hotel swimming pools can cause symptoms of vomiting, stomach cramps, watery diarrhoea, nausea, weight loss and dehydration.
If hotel swimming pools are not cleaned or maintained to a high standard, the water can quickly become contaminated, causing outbreaks of illness, particularly in summer, when so many people are using the facilities. E.Coli, Cryptosporidium and Shigella can all cause nasty symptoms of gastric illness, which can be serious if they are not treated quickly and correctly.
Many water-borne infections affect children, as they spend so much of their holiday time in the swimming pool.
- Have you or a member of your family suffered gastric illness at a package holiday hotels?
- Did other holidaymakers become ill with similar symptoms as yours?
- Do you want to claim compensation for Cryptosporidiosis, or another type of holiday illness, caused by poor standards of food or hygiene at your hotel?
- Do you suspect your illness was caused by swimming in contaminated water?
The contamination of swimming pool water usually occurs when parasites and bacteria enter the water, often via infected swimmers, insects or birds. The strain of some of the bacteria found in swimming pools is so strong, it is impossible to kill with chlorine, and should be dealt with immediately by the hotel management.
If , for example swimming pool water becomes contaminated with faecal matter, a wide range of infections are likely to follow, and large swimming pools at all inclusive hotels, including those with on-site water parks often harbour harmful bacteria which will cause illness when ingested. Common holiday illness includes: gastroenteritis, eye, ear and wound infections.
Cases of Cryptosporidium have increased during the past few years, and holiday illness compensation solicitors are currently handling many claims against tour operators. Most confirmed cases of the infection have been reported at all inclusive hotels where the swimming pools are larger than average.
Cryptosporidiosis can even collect on water filters and membranes, which cannot be properly disinfected. The harsh reality is that holiday illness from swimming pool water can be prevented if the pools are filtered adequately using modern equipment, and if the water is frequently turned over.
Holidaymakers should never swim in a hotel swimming pool if:
- The water is murky or slimy
- You cannot see the bottom of the pool from standing on the edge
- The pool smells strongly of chlorine/bleach
- The tiles are slimy and green
Tour operators have a responsibility to reasonably protect holidaymakers from illness and injury in package tour hotels, and when the main selling point of a hotel is the swimming pool or water park, every care must be taken to make sure water is cleaned and filtered adequately.
Cryptosporidiosis symptoms may be confused with those of food poisoning. The illness usually lasts 1-2 weeks, and infected people can still pass on the parasite if they are showing no symptoms themselves.
Major outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis have been confirmed in some package holiday hotels during the past two years, and it has been necessary in some cases for tour operators to demand the closure of pools until they have been thoroughly cleaned and filtered. In many cases, holidaymakers who have become ill with Cryptosporidiosis, have bough claims against both the hotel and the tour operator, which they are well within their rights to do.
In busy swimming pools during the summer season, it is impossible to prevent bacteria from entering the water, but holidaymakers should always be aware of the dangers of faecal contamination, and there should be strict policies in place to deal with any incident which may cause infection to hotel guests.
Holidaymakers who have recently suffered gastric illness should not swim in the pool, but many choose to ignore this and further contaminate the water. Babies or toddlers who are not toilet trained can also cause faecal matter to enter the pool, resulting in contamination of the water and subsequent illness among the pool users.
In a vain effort to get rid of bacteria from the swimming pool, some hoteliers over compensate by adding more chlorine to the pool, causing skin problems and additional health problems to hotel guests.
In order to maintain the pool to high standards, and keep it safe to use, an efficient pool filtration system must be adequate for the size of the pool. Chlorine can be supplemented with modern pool cleaning techniques which create cleaner and more hygienic pool water.
Anne Thomson, who heads our Holiday Illness Claims Department, says: “More holidaymakers are suffering symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps after contracting Cryptosporidiosis in hotel swimming pools. Tour operators must accept responsibility if illness is caused by using the pool.” If you have suffered holiday illness abroad, and you would like to claim compensation, after staying in a package holiday hotel, call Anne on: 080001 54321 or fill in the online claim form.