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Spain holiday warning as tourists coming back with ‘crypto’ parasite

Irish holidaymakers have returned from abroad with parasites that have caused vomiting and diarrhoea.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an urgent warning to anyone going to or from Spain, especially those returning from from Salou in Catalonia

The HSE has shared advice to combat a rise in cases of a cryptosporidiosis, commonly known as crypto. Common symptoms include ‘watery diarrhoea,’ but crypto can also lead to dehydration, weight loss, stomach cramps, fever, and nausea.

The health body has warned that the infection can be spread via careless hygiene practices and holidaymakers are urged to wash their hands after handling food, especially raw meat, or live animals. They’ve also advised travellers to take care when drinking tap water, even going so far as to say not to use ice in drinks, as ice cubes can often be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

Precautions should also be taken around food preparation and consumption, with the HSE telling tourists to avoid undercooked shellfish and dodgy street vendors, and to keep an eye on the cleanliness of restaurants.

Those who have had the illness have been asked not to go swimming in shared pools for at least a fortnight after the symptoms have cleared up, as the bug is resistant to chlorine.

In a healthy person, the symptoms caused by cryptosporidiosis should clear up in a week or two, but the infection can be much more serious for people with compromised immune systems.

And as part of the HSE’s official advice, beer and wine are deemed ‘generally safe’ for consumption as well as bottled mineral water and hot drinks.

It’s the latest warning to those travelling out of Ireland and onto the continent, with another warning for Irish holidaymakers urged to avoid bringing bedbugs home from their travels as France deals with a scourge of the creepy crawlies – which now look to be becoming resistant to pesticides.