No less than 48 guests from a hotel in Mallorca have been infected with the contagious hand-foot-mouth disease in recent weeks. “It ruined our entire holiday,” say victims. “The hotel and the tour operator did everything to keep the contagious outbreak quiet.”
It was Kimberley McCabe (28) from Solihull in England the first time she went on vacation with her twins, both infants. On 19 September they arrived at the Club Mac Hotel in Mallorca. Three days later, on 21 September, the first symptoms appeared in the twins: painful, red blisters. “They were covered from head to toe,” says Kimberley. “Our whole holiday was lost.”
In the meantime, the hotel has confirmed that since 11 September 48 people have been infected with them by the hand and foot-mouth disease, sometimes also called foot-and-mouth disease in the vernacular. “Nobody warned us when we checked in,” Kimberley says. “When I spoke to the representative of the tour operator, he said that they did not want to frighten the guests.” The hotel doctor tried to dismiss the sores according to the woman by adding ‘the chlorine in the pool’.
However, victims had already fallen before. The Scottish Danielle MacIntyre, from Glasgow, checked on September 7 with her children Nevah (3) and Milla (5 months) in the same hotel. “Also, our first holiday with the family,” says Danielle. “Because the girls are so young, I was already worried about how they would deal with the flight and the heat. But everything went well. Until the fifth day.”
Her daughter Nevah suddenly became ill. “The hotel doctor said she was dehydrated, even though she had drunk really well.” When she flew home, her condition worsened. “Red spots on all fours, and she got a fever.” At home it got worse and baby Milla got rash all over her body. A doctor’s visit revealed that it was the hand-foot-mouth disease.
A warning letter for the disease circulates on social media.
Danielle is furious, because after her vacation she discovered that the disease was warned in May. “At the Thomas Cook counter in the hotel, a warning letter appeared about the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. But I was a Jet2 customer, so I was not at the Thomas Cook counter. If I had known this, I would have asked to stay elsewhere,” Kimberley McCabe thinks the same thing. “They had the duty to inform us. But they obviously believe that earning money is more important than the welfare of their guests. I am disgusted with the way they have handled this.”
Jet2 and the hotel deny that in May there was an outbreak of the disease in the hotel. “That warning letter has been prepared as a preventive measure”, it sounds. “And at the bottom of the letter is the date on which the text has been prepared. This led to the mistaken assumption that the disease had already broken out in May.”
“We are aware of a small number of cases of hand and foot-mouth disease”, says Vicente Gim Nez, director of the hotel. “We are doing everything we can to prevent the spread. Posters with information are hanging up at different places in the hotel. The health and safety of our customers is very important.”
Finally, the hotel points out that in September 12,000 guests stayed at Club Mac, and that only 0.4 percent of them were infected with the hand and foot-mouth disease, and that in a number of other places in and outside of Mallorca. infections have been established.