Each year hundreds of people become ill following their stay at hotels in Egypt. Popular holiday destinations include Sharm El Sheikh, Hurgada and Luxor. People that travel on Egyptian Nile cruises regularly become ill as well.
When travel entrepreneur Thomas Cook first started featuring tours to Egypt one doubts whether he had in mind people would end up with serious bouts of food poisoning 150 or so years on.
Each year holiday makers regularly come back home from Egypt with infections such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella and Cryptosporidium. These infections are contracted by consumption of contaminated food and water causing diarrhoea, sickness and vomiting.
People that think they have contracted an infection should seek medical attention. If symptoms are mild it is likely that a doctor will suggest you drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated and eat sensible foods that will reduce the extent of the symptoms. If the illness is serious it may be that medical treatment in the form of ant-biotic or even hospitalisation is necessary.
If you do seek medical treatment in Egypt for what you think might be Salmonella, Cryptosporidium or Campylobacter it is important that you communicate with your doctor and ask what medication he is giving you. If not urgent, it may be worth discussing matters with your GP back in the UK. Unless the Egyptian doctor takes stool samples, it is unlikely that he will know what you have contracted unless there is a problem with the hotel you are staying at.
If you are taking part on a cruise or staying at an all-inclusive hotel care should be taken to make sure the food and water are safe.
If you notice that your chicken and eggs are undercooked, avoid eating them. If you notice things like unhygienic waiters, flies around the buffet and hot and cold food not being served at the correct temperature, caution should be exercised.
If food is prepared and cooked properly the prospect of you becoming ill will be significantly reduced. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to know what goes on behind the scenes in Egyptian hotel restaurants but if thinks look bad in the public areas of the restaurant the chances are that there will be problems behind the scenes as well.
Swimming pools can often harbour harmful pathogens, the most common in Egypt being Cryptosporidium. If the water is murky it could be that the pool water is not being filtered properly. If there is no sensation that water has been chlorinated it is possible that you may pick up an infection such as Shigella although only proper filtering will reduce the possibility of contracting Cryptosporidium.
If you travel with a holiday company that has organised a package it is advisable for you to contact a solicitor when you return to the UK if you have become ill. With good evidence such as complaint forms, details of other guests that were ill; and photographs it may well be that you can make a substantial claim if your symptoms outlasted your holiday. Most impotently, it is vital that you keep hold of any receipts or medical reports completed.
An experienced travel lawyer will ideally have worked for one of the major tour operators and will have the knowledge of tour operating that may help you make a successful compensation claim.