More than 70 British holidaymakers say they were struck down with a parasitic infection while staying at a hotel in Morocco.
Guests at the four-star Hotel Aqua Mirage in Marrakech were were diagnosed with E.coli, salmonella and cryptosporidium, and reported the pool toilets had been covered in diarrhea and vomit.
Among those affected was Chelsea Hagan, 29, and her daughter Darcey, 6, from Anglesey, North Wales.
The tourists stayed in the hotel over the summer and autumn of last year.
Chelsea and Darcey’s holiday, booked through TUI, took place between 9 and 16 September, 2022.
On the day they returned to the UK, Darcey fell ill with gastric symptoms, including diarrhoea and vomiting.
Chelsea took her to the GP twice and was referred to the hospital during the second appointment.
Chelsea’s illness then began around 24 September.
She suffered diarrhoea, headaches, fatigue and stomach pain and when she also began vomiting blood,
Chelsea called NHS 111 and was advised to attend A&E where she was diagnosed with cryptosporidium, a parasitic infection commonly transmitted to humans through contaminated water.
Darcey’s symptoms eased around 7 October, however Chelsea has ongoing health issues.
Chelsea, a trainee painter and decorator, said: “When Darcey started being sick, I thought maybe it was from the heat on holiday, but after a few days I ended up taking her to the hospital as she wasn’t getting any better. It was awful seeing my little girl so unwell.
“Then I fell ill, and I couldn’t believe how bad I got. I’ve never felt stomach pain like it. I spent almost a day in hospital vomiting. It was horrendous.
“To find out I had a gastric infection was a huge shock and not something you expect just after returning from holiday.
''However, when I think back I can recall that the hygiene standards at the resort weren’t what I’d class as great.
“I remember raw meat was put next to cooked meat and people would pick at the food with their hands.
''At one stage, one of the toilet cubicles by the pool was covered in diarrhoea and vomit; it was disgusting."
Sarita Sharma, the specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the group, including Chelsea and Darcey, added: “Chelsea and Darcey are just two of among more than 70 people who stayed at this hotel over the summer and autumn of 2022 only to be struck down with gastric illness.
"Others we represent suffered illnesses including cryptosporidium, e.coli, campylobacter and salmonella, all of which can have long-term impacts on health.”
Yahoo News UK has contacted TUI and the Hotel Aqua Mirage for comment.
How to complain about your package holiday
Firstly, speak to the tour operator or travel agent who arranged your holiday and explain your concerns. They may be able to offer a solution or compensation.
If you paid with a credit card, you may be covered for up to £30,000 under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, and those using debit cards could potentially claim money back through a chargeback.
If this doesn't work, you can escalate your complaint to trade associations, including The Travel Association (ABTA) or The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO).
They have a Code of Conduct that members must adhere to and can help with disputes.
If this doesn't work, consider taking your complaint to the travel ombudsman - an independent arbitration service.
You may escalate the complaint to a small claims court if these options don't work.