Things That Matter

Mexico’s Beach Resorts Are Facing A New Threat But This Time It’s A Dangerous Parasite

For the last several years, the Riviera Maya region (which stretches along the Yucatán Peninsula and includes popular resorts like Cancun and Tulum) has been swamped with massive flows of seaweed. And now the region is experiencing a different type of invasion – one of fecal parasites.

Tourists headed to Mexico have been handed a travel warning after several people were struck down by a nasty infection at several resorts.

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A report published today in the British newspaper Daily Express said that at least 14 British nationals have recently been infected with the cyclospora bug, which is spread by food and water contaminated with human feces.

The parasite causes nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and loss of appetite, and can be particularly dangerous for people with weak immune systems. This marks the fifth year in a row that there has been an outbreak of the cyclospora parasite.

Things are bad enough that foreign health agencies are issuing warnings to their citizens traveling to Mexico.

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The latest outbreak in Quintana Roo has prompted several international health agencies to issue a warning that advises anyone who has recently visited resorts in Mexico and is feeling ill to seek medical attention.

A travel advisory on the public health authority’s website states that “all travelers to Mexico are strongly advised to maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene even if staying in luxury resorts.”

Anyone visiting the affected areas that falls ill is advised to seek medical attention.

This isn’t the first outbreak of this dangerous parasite in the region.

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Since 2015, almost 600 Brits alone have been affected by the cyclospora bug while visiting Cancún or the Riviera Maya or after they returned home. The area was the subject of a public health warning three years ago after hundreds of people were struck down by the parasite.

Authorities believe that the number of cases this year will rise rapidly as a number of resorts in Quintana Roo are believed to be affected by the latest outbreak. Evidence suggests that food deliveries from third parties are to blame.

Salad ingredients such as lettuce, herbs including mint, coriander and basil, and soft fruits like raspberries are particularly susceptible to being hosts to the cyclospora parasite.

Cyclospora most often occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of the world including South and Central America, South and South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

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