A health warning has been issued to holidaymakers heading to Mexico this summer after more than a dozen tourists were struck down with crippling stomach pains, diarrhoea and sickness.
According to reports, at least 14 British tourists have fallen ill at hotels in Riviera Maya and Cancun.
It is the fifth year in a row that travellers have been hit by the Cyclospora parasite, which is spread by contaminated water and food.
The bug is often found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, such as South and Central America. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal cramps and flatulence.
Public Health Wales has now issued a warning to holidaymakers, urging them to take extra care when travelling to the region.
A spokesperson for Public Health Wales confirmed the outbreak.
Tourists have been warned to seek medical attention if they think something is wrong. Credit: PA
They said: “Public Health Wales, along with other health agencies across the UK, has seen an increase in reports of Cyclospora infection in returning travellers from Mexico.
“In Wales, there have been a total of 12 cases associated with travel to Mexico in 2019. The majority of cases stayed in the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions of Mexico.
“Get medical advice if you experience any symptoms, either during your holiday or after you return. If you are ill when you get home, remember to tell your GP about your travel history.”
Anyone who thinks they are suffering with the sickness bug has been urged to seek medical attention.
At least 14 British tourists have been struck down by the latest bout of illness. Credit: PA
Dr Behrooz Behbod, consultant epidemiologist at Public Health Wales, said: “In Wales, there have been a similar number of Cyclospora cases in recent years, all occurring in the summer. Anyone travelling to Mexico or any other tropical or subtropical region can reduce their risk of infection by following good food, water, and hand hygiene.”
Speaking to Wales Online, Nick Harris, who is head of travel at Cardiff based Simpson Millar solicitors – representing more than 450 tourists who have fallen ill over the past few years – said: “We have been inundated with people who have fallen ill in the resorts.
“So far we have been contacted by people who have fallen ill in five different hotels.
“But I understand there are others affected and as this is peak season like other years it has the potential to spread like wildfire.
“But we have spoken with tourists who said the first they knew of the illness was when letters were given to them in the resort. By then it is too late.
“Tour operators need to do more instead of putting profit before safety of their customers who have put their trust in them.”