Shigellosis or sunstroke?

This one time, when I was working at a greenhouse as a summer student, I called in sick and told the boss I had sunstroke (from working outside the previous day).

And then I went to a free lunch-time Red Hot Chili Peppers concert on Yonge St (that’s in Toronto, which is in Canada). I’ve matured since then.Red Hot Chili Peppers backstage before a gig in Boston, MA in August 1990. © B.C. Kagan

According to the UK Mirror  a per 250 Brits who visited a resort in Egypt were told by management that they were suffering from sunstroke – but it was actually shigellosis.

The Mirror revealed last month how First Choice customers caught the bug, thought to be shigella, at Coral Sea Waterworld, Sharm el Sheikh.

Victim Tracy Roscoe, 51, said she got a letter two days before she and her family were due to leave after spending most of the trip laid up.

“It stinks,” said Mrs Roscoe. “They tried to blame the sun when they knew it was a bug doing the rounds in the hotel.”

The letter – “Sunstroke And How To Stay Healthy” – referred to heat above 40C and how over-exposure and low fluids can cause sunstroke.

But many sick guests complained of poor food hygiene by staff.

Nick Harris of lawyers Simpson Millar – handling claims from 250 of them – said: “It’s outrageous if there was an attempt to intimate to customers that the massive sickness outbreak was caused by sunstroke, which is what the letter seems to imply.”

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.