14 British travelers allegedly struck by cyclospora parasite in Cancun

BRIT holidaymakers visiting Mexico are being warned after tourists were struck down by a brutal bug passed through human faeces for fifth year in a row.

So far, guests 14 staying at hotels in the Riviera Maya and Cancun resorts in Mexico have been struck down with the cyclsopora parasite.

 Holidaymakers in Cancun, which has been hit by the cyclsopora bug
Holidaymakers in Cancun, which has been hit by the cyclsopora bugCredit: Alamy

The sickness bug is spread by infected human faeces contaminating water or food.

Symptoms include frequent, watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence and loss of appetite.


Nearly 600 Brits have been struck down with the bug since 2015.

The same areas in Mexico were subject to a Pubic England health warning three years ago after hundreds of Brits were ravaged by the bug.

But it seems lessons from previous outbreaks have not been learned as the sickness bug has started infecting Brit tourists again.

Health Protection Scotland is now advising anyone who has visited the affected resorts and is feeling ill to seek medical attention.


A health advisory on its website reads: “All travellers to Mexico are strongly advised to maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene even if staying in luxury resorts.

 Travel warnings have been issued to Brit holidaymakers travelling to Mexico
Travel warnings have been issued to Brit holidaymakers travelling to Mexico

What is Cyclospora? The signs and symptoms

Cyclospora is an infection caused by a tiny parasite.

It can be caught from eating raw fruit and vegetables contaminated with human poo.

Diarrhoea is the most common symptom, as well as:

– loss of appetite

– weight loss

– stomach cramps

– bloating

– increased gas

– tiredness

– nausea

Most cases reported to the NHS involve travellers who have been to:

– the Caribbean

– Central and South America

– Turkey

– the Indian subcontinent

– the Far East

“Infection is transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water, direct person to person spread does not occur.

“Foods often implicated in outbreaks include soft fruits like raspberries and salad products such as coriander, basil and lettuce.
“On return from Mexico, if travellers have any symptoms such as those described above they should seek medical attention and inform their GP of their travel history.”

A spokesperson added: “There have been seasonal outbreaks of cyclospora infection in returning travellers from Mexico over the past four years.

“The majority of cases stayed at the Riviera Maya and Cancun regions of Mexico. Health Protection Scotland is aware of cases this year with a history of travel to Mexico.”

More than 78 Brits were struck down with the parasite in 2017 while 443 were affected in the same Riviera Maya and Cancun areas in 2016.

Cyclospora, spread by water and food contaminated by faeces, also ravaged the area in 2015 with 79 UK tourists falling ill.

Nick Harris Head of Travel at Simpson Millar solicitors who is representing 450 victims caught up in the current and past outbreaks – said: “We have been inundated with people who have fallen ill in the resorts.

“This latest cluster of illness just shows how TUI are playing with the health of their customers. 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.

“People have saved all year only to be let down by their tour operator at the first hurdle. They knew this bug is rife in Mexico but haven’t told people preferring to keep quiet. 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.

Source: The Yucatan Times

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