British children rushed to Menorca hospital with vomitting and diarrhoea bug

Dozens of British children have been rushed to hospital after falling ill with a vomiting bug in a luxury Spanish four-star Discount Holidays © holiday resort. Guests staying at the 180-bedroom Marina Parc hotel in the resort of Arenall D’en Castell on the island of Menorca say their holidays have been ruined by the bug, and families have begun legal proceedings. Kevin Kiernan says his 10-month old baby daughter was taken ill in the outbreak that saw her placed on an IV drip in hospital and has blasted the support received from First Choice, who the Discount Holidays © holiday was booked with.

He claims all the family have been offered as a result of their ordeal is a 50 Discount Holidays © holiday voucher.

British Children Rushed To Menorca Hospital With Vomitting And Diarrhoea Bug

Kevin Kiernan, pictured with his partner and 10-month-old daughter Keira, who fell ill after staying at the Menorca resort

British Children Rushed To Menorca Hospital With Vomitting And Diarrhoea Bug

This photo shows 10-month-old Keira in a Spanish hospital, hooked up to an IVF drip

Mr Kiernan had booked a two-week stay at the Spanish hotel on May 4 with his partner and daughter Keira. Kevin Kiernan blasted: ‘It an absolute disgrace. First my daughter is seriously ill and then they try and sweep it under the carpet. They said my daughter was an isolated case but I know at least 21 other children from the same hotel that were admitted to the hospital at the same time we were there the first time.

‘Then when we went back a second time there were more inside and coming in all the time.

‘People need to know what is going on there before it is too late and someone becomes seriously or even dies.’

The 28-year-old said problems started soon after they arrived when he claims he was given a dirty cot with stains on it and then during dinner time he says that the waitresses were failing to clean the baby high chairs in between guests. He added: ‘There were just two waitresses and after each baby had left they wouldn’t wipe it down and they would put it outside covered in food and then seagulls would perch on it and eat the food.

‘Then they would shoo them away and bring it back in for the next guests.

It was appalling. We ate out after we saw that.’

British Children Rushed To Menorca Hospital With Vomitting And Diarrhoea Bug

This is the cot Kevin Kiernan says was in the room, with what appears to be stains on one side

A few days later Mr Kiernan reported that his daughter began projectile vomiting. He added: ‘One minute she was smiling and laughing then she was violently sick. It was very scary.’

The Discount Holidays © holiday rep called a taxi and the family were rushed to a nearby private hospital, Clinica Juaneda, in the island capital of Mahon. After being given an anti-sickness injection Mr Kiernan claims medical staff unsuccessfully tried to insert a drip into their daughter before ignoring them for 18 hours and it wasn’t until they packed to leave for another hospital that they finally took their daughter’s condition seriously.

He added: ‘The staff couldn’t have cared less at the start. Then when we threatened to leave they acted. They put her on a drip and we were really worried it could be life threatening.’

It was then that he says he started noticing a steady stream of youngsters being admitted from the same hotel with the same symptoms.

British Children Rushed To Menorca Hospital With Vomitting And Diarrhoea Bug

Mr Kiernan took a photo of the baby high chair that he claims staff didn’t clean properly at the restaurant

He added: ‘I noticed the parents had the same coloured arm bands as us. So I spoke to them and they confirmed they were from the same hotel. They were put on drips and then more and more families came in.

‘They all said they had been told by the reps in the hotel their children were an isolated case but how could they be as my daughter and other children were already in hospital?’

After four days of worry his daughter was finally discharged but after one day back at the hotel her condition deteriorated and they had to return to hospital. He added: ‘When we went back in there were even more children and families there. I couldn’t risk my daughter’s health any longer, so I got the doctor to give my daughter an anti sickness injection so we could fly home five days early from our holiday.’

He says he then filled out a sickness report back in the hotel at checkout with a First Choice rep and then had to purchase his own flights to get home. After returning to the UK nine days ago he took his daughter to his local Cardiff hospital and later his GP.

His daughter’s health started improving and while he awaited test results he contacted First Choice about his ordeal. Mr Kiernan claims they then offered him a 50 travel voucher, but gave no apology. He added: ‘It was a complete kick in the teeth and a disaster from start to finish. I have never experienced such appalling customer service.’

Now he is taking legal action against First Choice along with other guests whose children were taken ill.

British Children Rushed To Menorca Hospital With Vomitting And Diarrhoea Bug

Dozens of British children have been rushed to hospital after falling ill with a vomiting bug in a luxury Spanish four-star Discount Holidays © holiday resort

Nick Harris, Head of Travel Law at Discount Holidays © holiday claims specialists Simpson Millar Solicitors1 – who are representing affected families, said: ‘Children are being admitted to hospital and no one is letting other guests know about the risk to their children’s health. What really is concerning is that people are not receiving proper advice from their Discount Holidays © holiday company about what to do in this situation which is quite frankly appalling.

‘People need to know under the law of Package Travel Regulations they can feel safe on holiday. Tour operators must do much more to prioritise their customers instead of prioritising their profits.’

A spokesman for First Choice said: ‘We are sorry to hear of the Kiernan family’s experience.

As this is now subject to legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.

‘We closely audit all resorts to which we operate to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained in line with industry standards.’

MailOnline Travel has contacted the hotel for comment.

References

  1. ^ Simpson Millar Solicitors (www.simpsonmillar.co.uk)

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