Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in British tourists who stayed at
a hotel in Majorca, Spain
On 22 July 2003, the Scottish Centre for Infection and
Environmental Health (SCIEH) reported an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis to
the Spanish National Centre of Epidemiology (Centro Nacional de Epidemiología,
This outbreak occurred in a hotel in Majorca, in which about 2000 guests
had stayed during the epidemic period (nearly 100% occupation). All the
guests at the hotel, which is used by only one tour operator, were British
The onset date of the first case was 5 July 2003. At present, CNE is aware
of 391 cases, 214 of which are known to be positive for Cryptosporidium.
The latest numbers of cases reported to CNE by 13 August are:
||179 confirmed and suspected in England and Wales (75 confirmed
and 104 suspected cases reported to the Health Protection Agency Communicable
Disease Surveillance Centre between 1 July and 5 August),
||170 in Scotland (112 confirmed and 58 suspected cases reported to
SCIEH by 13 August)
||42 in Northern Ireland (27 confirmed and 15 suspected cases reported
to Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Northern Ireland by 13 August)
No case has been found either in the Spanish population of Alcudia or among
workers at the hotel. The main symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting,
and fever. CNE is aware of nine cases admitted to hospital.
The regional health authorities in Majorca have carried out an inspection
of the hotel and control measures have been taken. The hotel's swimming
pool is suspected to be the source of the infection, and was closed on 23
July, and water samples were taken.
Other control measures have been implemented to avoid transmission from
ill to healthy people (particularly transmission through babies' nappies)
and the hotel's day nurseries have been disinfected.
No failures in the infrastructure of the hotel's water supply have been
found. Cryptosporidium oocysts have been found in water from the
swimming pool. The swimming pool was emptied and disinfected, and its filters
were changed. The local health authorities have allowed the hotel's owners
to refill it and use it again. The epidemiological investigation and the
control measures are continuing.