Nine-month-old twins were left with the worst case of hand, foot and mouth disease doctors had ever seen after a ‘hushed up’ outbreak at their Spanish hotel.
Kimberley McCabe, 28, claims her twins Mila-Rose and Kyson Scott broke out in painful red sores during a week-long holiday to the three-star Club Mac Hotel in Alcudia, Majorca, last month.
The mother-of-two, from Solihull, West Midlands, alleges neither the hotel nor the package holiday operator Jet2 warned her about the outbreak when she arrived.
Multiple guests became infected by the virus, which can be fatal, during her seven-day break, Ms McCabe claims.
Club Mac have confirmed 48 people have been infected with hand, foot and mouth disease since September 11.
This comes as the families of three other toddlers have claimed in the last week that their young children caught the virus from the same hotel.
The infection causes blisters and rashes, and is common among children under 10. It is not the same as foot and mouth, which affects animals.
‘There were no signs warning us of the outbreak during check-in,’ Ms McCabe said.
‘There was a severe cause of hand, foot and mouth disease spreading, and the staff did their utmost to keep this information quiet.
‘My poor babies were covered in red angry blisters from head-to-toe, they were so poorly that it completely ruined our holiday.’
Ms McCabe, a hairdresser, was particularly concerned due to the twins being born four weeks premature and having weak immune systems.
‘When I approached our Jet2 rep, they said “we don’t want to scare our guests, that’s why we’re not telling them”.
‘There were no signs throughout the hotel, and we weren’t advised by staff at check-in or by Jet2 holidays before arriving.
‘We felt like there was no empathy at all, the hotel just tried to cover it up.’
‘They had a duty of care, but making money was clearly more important to them than the wellbeing of their guests.
‘We feel so let down – both the hotel and Jet2 have completely failed us and I’m disgusted at the way they’ve handled it.’
Ms McCabe adds she is yet to receive a valid explanation from the hotel as to why it chose to keep the outbreak a secret.
Ms McCabe claims there were multiple cases of the viral infection at the resort, with babies and children being the hardest hit.
She said: ‘When we went to see the hotel doctor, she even said, “oh, here’s another one!”
‘Several other guests had to leave early and ended up in hospital.
‘I don’t wish for any family, particularly those with young babies, to have to endure the ordeal we have.
‘There were also many pregnant women at the hotel, which is so concerning as the condition can be life-threatening for an unborn baby.’
Since posting about the ordeal on Facebook, Ms McCabe alleges she has received hundreds of messages about similar cases at the same hotel, with some dating back years.
The family flew to the Spanish resort on September 19. The twins’ hand, foot and mouth symptoms developed just two days later.
They returned home on September 26 after being declared fit to fly by the hotel’s doctor.
Once back in the UK, Ms McCabe claims a GP told her the twins’ cases were the worst they had ever seen.
She blames lack of cleanliness at the hotel for the outbreak.
After the youngsters were diagnosed by the hotel’s doctor, Ms McCabe was reportedly told to keep the twins in their room.
They were also banned from the restaurant and pool, she adds.
Hand, foot and mouth the disease is passed on through coughs and sneezes. According to the NHS, a person is infectious days before any symptoms become apparent.
This comes after Emilia Marchant started to develop symptoms on the plane home to the UK after staying at the same hotel, according to her mother Davina.
Ms Marchant also claims there were no signs up at the hotel warning parents of the outbreak.
‘If I hadn’t searched hand, foot and mouth and seen all the articles on Majorca I still would be wondering how on earth she had got it,’ she told The Sun.
Glaswegian toddlers Nevah MacIntyre, three, and her five-month-old sister five-month-old sister Milla also developed the tell-tale rash after spending just five days at the resort with their family.
Their mother Danielle said: ‘I know getting this disease is very possible but I just don’t get why we were not warned.
‘They obviously didn’t want to put it out there which is why they want to put it under wraps.’
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of patient.info, said it was ‘absolutely’ possible the disease had spread to other locations on the Spanish island.
She said: ‘Unfortunately kids can stay infectious for several weeks so if they’ve been to the beach they can spread it to other kids.
‘I get it at the clinic in the UK all the time, if you think about how it spreads, it’s almost inevitable.’
The Foreign Office does not mention ongoing cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in its travel advice.
A spokesperson for Jet2 said last week: ‘We are aware of a small number of cases of hand, foot and mouth at the Club Mac Hotel in Alcudia which, contrary to some reports, first appeared at the hotel in September.
‘Since the appearance of these cases, we have briefed our team on how to spot and prevent the spread of the illness and displayed posters on notice boards in the hotel.
‘We would like to assure our customers that their health and safety is our number one priority, and we work closely with all hotels to ensure that health and safety standards meet the very high requirements that we and our customers expect.’
Vicente Giménez, general manager at Club Mac Hotel Alcudia, added: ‘We are aware of a small number of cases of hand-foot-and-mouth at the Club Mac Hotel in Alcudia and we’re working with our resort teams and customers to do everything possible to reduce the spread of this highly contagious viral infection.
’48 people have been confirmed with the infection since 11 September.
‘In September we have had over 12,000 guests staying at Club Mac, with 0.4 per cent of them having the hand foot and mouth virus.
‘We have activated POSI (Prevention of the Spread of infection) procedures and cleaning and disinfection is being carried out throughout the complex, by all departments, in collaboration with our on-site H&S consultant from external experts Preverisk.’
They added: ‘We care about our customers and take the health, safety and wellbeing of our guests seriously.
‘We have also been made aware of publicised outbreaks of this highly contagious virus in other hotels on the island, as well as in Menorca, the United States, Australia and Malaysia.
‘Therefore, we don’t know where this illness actually began, but we can’t rule out the possibility that some people could have been infected in airports, as this outbreak is obviously extremely widespread.’