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Advice regarding holidays to Egypt

Are you on your way to Egypt for your summer holiday this year? If so, Public Health England (PHE) have published guidelines dated 16th July 2019 (updated 26th July 2019) regarding travel to the popular holiday destination of Hurghada, located on the Rea Sea coast of Egypt.

PHE have identified 18 travellers returning from Hurghada in 2019 who have contracted the E. coli infection.

NHS England state that E.coli is a bacteria caught via ingestion of contaminated foods or water that can cause gastrointestinal infections with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

The form of E.coli found within the 18 travellers was that Shiga toxin- producing Escherichia coli (STEC). STEC can cause in rare circumstances a serious kidney complication called haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

Between 2009 and 2019 PHE have advised there have been 16 confirmed cases of HUS from travellers who have been to the Hurghada region.

Public Health England have provided tips to stay safe from E. coli on trips to Egypt this summer:

  • where possible, avoid eating salads and uncooked vegetables

  • only eat fruit they can peel

  • avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese and ice cream

  • avoid food that has been left uncovered in warm environments and exposed to flies

  • ensure all meat is cooked thoroughly before you eat it, avoiding any meat that is pink or cold

  • avoid ice, unless made with filtered or bottled water, and tap water, even when brushing teeth

  • only drink bottled water or use ice made from bottled/filtered water

  • wash your hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet, and always before preparing or eating food. Alcohol gel can be helpful (but not entirely effective) when hand washing facilities are not available

  • when swimming, try and avoid swallowing water where possible and supervise children when swimming.

  • don’t swim whilst ill

If you do fall ill abroad we at JMW would recommend the following:

  • Report your illness to the hotel reception and a member of your tour representatives.

  • If your illness persists seek medical attention.

  • Rest indoors in a well ventilated room.

  • Consume fluids consistently throughout the day.

  • Avoid dairy products and fatty foods as these can make symptoms worse.

  • Add low- fibre foods gradually when you start to feel better.

If you have contracted E. coli following a holiday abroad it may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation on your return against your tour operator or in some cases the hotel or its insurers.  Our specialist team are experienced in advising on your path to compensation and we can help you make a compensation claim that will recognise both your illness and any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result, including any impact the illness has had on your holiday.  Get in touch with us today on 0800 054 6570 or by filling in our online form and we will get back to you.

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