'Completely sick': Another parent recounts child's illness at Mexican resort
Published Monday, February 29, 2016 10:55AM EST
Another Canadian parent says her child also became ill with a fever- and rash-producing infection while vacationing at a resort area in Mexico.
Sophie Cranley says her toddler son got sick in early December, while the family was vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. She said he developed what seemed like a huge bruise on his hand three days into the trip.
“At first we thought, ‘Oh, it must be a spider bite.’ And then the fever broke out and the vomiting. He was so completely sick,” Cranley told CTVNews.ca by phone.
The Rockwood, Ont. resident said she contacted a few doctors in Canada by phone and email for help. They told her the two-year-old probably had hand-foot-and-mouth disease, a viral infection common among preschoolers that causes sores to break out on the hands, feet and in and around the mouth. The illness is spread through contact with contaminated secretions from the nose and throat, fluid from blisters or the feces of an infected person.
Cranley said the illness meant she and her son had to spend the rest of the vacation in their room or cuddled up under a cabana at their hotel, the Royalton Riviera Cancun. The only activity her son was interested in at the family-friendly resort was going in the ocean, where the saltwater seemed to bring him some relief.
“That was the only thing he tolerated. He was just screaming the whole rest of the time,” she said.
Cranley’s story is similar to that of Katrina Boblin, of Black Diamond, Alta., who told CTV Calgary over the weekend that her toddler also developed a rash while at the Royalton Riviera.
Boblin wrote about her experience on Facebook last week, in a post that has now been shared more than 30,000 times.
She said she was still at the resort and had seen several other kids at the resort with the same rash as her 18-month-old daughter.
“I'm making a point to notify any families with children while I am here,” she wrote in the post.
Cranley says when she saw that post she remembered her similar experience in early December. She didn’t realize, at the time, that other kids were getting infected as well.
“I just thought it was random thing. I didn’t see any other kids sick at the resort. But then, I didn’t consult with the doctors there because I knew they were going to charge me,” she said.
“But now I’m seeing these other articles and posts about other people who have been to that resort and had the same thing.”
Cranley says her son became so sick, she brought him straight to the hospital after arriving home from Mexico.
There, she says doctors confirmed a hand-foot-and-mouth disease infection and said he had also developed impetigo, a bacterial skin infection that mainly affects children as well.
She said they were given antibiotics but it took three weeks for the rash to fully clear. Even now, she says, he still has a scar where the sores used to be.
Her four-year-old daughter became infected as well, though her symptoms were not as bad since the girl had had the illness before. But she says they managed to infect other children in their town as well.
“We spread it through Rockwood. It was awful. My whole town got it for a month,” she said.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by enterovirus, most commonly coxsackievirus A16. The highly contagious viruses are found worldwide and outbreaks are not uncommon in daycares and other child care settings.
Another mother from Kamloops, B.C. said her 16-month-old son experienced a similar skin infection after a visit to a nearby resort in Tulum, Mexico.
CTV Calgary asked Royalton Riviera Cancun for a response to the illnesses. It said it was aware of a hand-foot-and-mouth outbreak at its property and was taking “extensive precautionary measures” to disinfect public spaces.
“As the health and safety of our guests are of the utmost priority, we take great care and dedication to prevent the spread of any germs on hotel grounds,” the statement said.
“On a daily basis, we engage in extensive precautionary measures and thorough sanitization practices, including the following: maintenance of pool and jacuzzi chlorination levels and filter systems; daily sanitization of all guest rooms and public spaces including the Kids Clubhouse and Hangout Teens Club; and thorough restaurant cleanings, which includes disinfecting high chairs and wrapping them in plastic cling wrap between use.
"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or concern these unforeseen circumstances may have caused our guests. As always, we encourage guests to practice good hygiene by using hand sanitizers provided throughout the resort. We ask that if a guest is exhibiting Hand Foot & Mouth symptoms during their stay with us to immediately visit our onsite medical doctor.”
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Alesia Fieldberg