Disease and illness in the Dominican Republic

Published: 04th March 2011
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Disease and illness have affected hundreds of holidaymakers in the Dominican Republic during the past 18 months and many claims have been made against tour operators for adequate compensation.

Holidays have been ruined by vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps often linked to poor standards of health and hygiene in holiday hotels. Some holidaymakers have described the food in their hotel as ´appalling´ and others have vowed never to return to the Dominican Republic until standards of health and hygiene in all inclusive hotels is vastly improved.

Many outbreaks of holiday illness and disease in the Dominican Republic are caused by poor handling, storing and serving of food and it is vital, particularly in hot climates, that food is kept properly refrigerated and is also served at the correct temperatures. Salmonella food poisoning can ruin your holiday and cause serious discomfort. Typical symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps and, if it can be proven the illness was caused by poor standards of health and hygiene at your holiday hotel, you may have a strong case for compensation from the tour operator.

If you suffer holiday food poisoning, including Salmonella, you could be confined to your hotel room for days on end which will ruin your holiday. You could claim compensation for loss of enjoyment of your holiday, pain and suffering and medical expenses, plus loss of income if you are unable to return to work immediately when you return home. It is worth remembering that you may still be suffering from holiday food poisoning when you return to the UK and it is vital you get checked out by your GP as soon as possible. Even if symptoms seem to have disappeared you may still be harbouring the Salmonella bacteria which can be easily passed on if you return to work too early.

Outbreaks of illness in holiday hotels in the Dominican Republic commonly occur when food is served to hundreds of holidaymakers at the same time, usually buffet-style and it has not been prepared or stored properly. Bad handling of food can also cause illness, and contamination via the faecal-oral route is not uncommon. It is vital that chefs and other food handlers adhere to strict rules about health and hygiene in hotel kitchens and restaurants and they should never serve food that has gone past its `sell by date.´

If food is prepared in an unclean kitchen or served in a restaurant with unhygienic facilities guests are more likely to contract food poisoning and there is no reason why holidaymakers should be exposed to this. The tour operator is responsible for standards in holiday hotels which are advertised in its brochures and promotional material and, if standards are poor, they should not continue to send holidaymakers to the hotels.

Salmonella food poisoning is easy to contract if poor standards of food and hygiene exist and if food is undercooked or not served at the correct temperatures, it can also cause stomach illness. Eggs and meat are the common carriers of Salmonella food poisoning but it can exist in all types of food. Food poisoning may pass quite quickly on its own but, if it enters the blood stream, then serious illness can follow.

When you return home make sure you contact a personal injury solicitor with experience of dealing with holiday illness compensation claims and one who works on a no win, no fee basis. Win or lose, it will not cost you a penny to claim compensation from the tour operator, and you should receive 100% of the compensation.

Adrian vultur writes for Dominican Republic holiday illness claims.

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