One of my daughters is planning a trip to the Dominican Republic with a bunch of her friends to celebrate the end of high school.
I told her she had to get vaccinated for hepatitis A, and to be careful with what she ate.
The Northampton Chronicle & Echo reports this morning that piles of vomit, cockroaches in bedrooms and inedible food are among a litany of allegations raised by a group of Northampton (U.K.) holidaymakers in a High Court claim against tour operators First Choice.
Five groups from the town are suing the firm over an alleged "holiday from Hell" in the Dominican Republic, which they say led to them suffering food poisoning.
More than 400 holidaymakers are claiming about £3 million in damages in total, with allegations including faeces in the swimming pool, "stone-cold" food, flies and birds being allowed to pick at the buffet, and a hotel which smelt of sewage.
Claimants allege they suffered acute gastroenteritis following their stay at the all-inclusive four-star Bahia Principe Hotel in San Juan in the summer of 2007.
From the things-not-to-say-when-1,500-customers-have-barfed file:
"Holiday Villages are all large properties and the reported level of illness is very low considering the large population."
The Mirror reports this morning that families staying at six of the most popular First Choice Holiday Villages have been hit by a deluge of gastric illnesses over the last three years.
Claims are being processed from people who stayed at the Spanish bases in the Costa del Sol and Majorca and also in Turkey, Egypt, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. At Sarigerme in Turkey more than 700 were taken ill this summer.
Yesterday First Choice told the Mirror that it is axing its Holiday Village resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic from next month. The three bugs mainly to blame are salmonella, often caused by food not being cooked or stored properly; campylobacter, from contamination and cryptosporidium, often the result of feces in water.
The British Mirror reports that hundreds of tourist may have been struck down with salmonella food poisoning and some have already been diagnosed after returning from a hotel complex in Turkey.
The tourists affected were staying at the Holiday Village Turkey in the resort of Sarigerme.
Andrew Morton, of the Manchester law firm Pannone, who is taking action against First Choice Travel on behalf of more than 100 clients, said,
"From all reports coming out of the resort, we expect the number of cases to rise significantly over the next few days. Estimates put the figure of those affected at well over 1,000. Anyone returning to the UK from Sarigerme who has been ill should see their doctor immediately."
Last night, a spokeswoman for First Choice said "a very small proportion" of guests at the resort reported being ill and were being treated for an "airborne virus.”