Spain listeriosis outbreak: Britons issued with travel health alert as 200 people affected

Spain health authorities have confirmed a new listeriosis outbreak in the holiday hotspot most popular with Britons – with pregnant women and those with weak immune systems particularly vulnerable. The European country this year was revealed as the most favoured holiday destination for UK travellers, yet new advice has been issued following the detection of the bacterial infection. Authorities have advised vigilance for tourists consuming the meat products, and flagged how the infection, which sparks sickness, diarrhoea and aches and pains, can spread. So far, more than 200 people have been affected by the outbreak.

The FCO has updated its guidelines for tourists and now states: “The Spanish Health Ministry has issued an international alert on meat products manufactured under the brand name La Mechá following a confirmed outbreak of listeriosis.

“Approximately 200 people have been affected by the outbreak, with the majority of cases reported in the region of Andalusia and a small number in other parts of Spain.

“All products manufactured by the Seville plant since 1 May 2019 have been recalled.

“If you have consumed a product manufactured under the La Mechá or a similar own-brand label and think you may have been affected you should visit your local health centre.

“Listeriosis is usually caught from eating food containing listeria bacteria.”

These include chilled, ready to eat foods such as sandwiches and pate, in which such meat could well be present.

The infection, caused by the listeria bacteria, usually goes away on its own, yet can make for a grim holiday experience for sufferers.

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The NHS website states how it is particularly contagious, with tourists able to catch listeriosis from someone who already has it.

This can occur simply by eating food the sufferer has prepared.

The NHS states the symptoms are symptoms for a few days, such as:

– A high temperature of 38C or above

– Aches and pains

– Chills

– Feeling sick or vomiting

– Diarrhoea

Meanwhile, the FCO stresses the importance of a valid EHIC card to help those who fall ill when abroad.

It added: “The EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Spanish nationals.

“If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the Department of Health Overseas Healthcare Team (+44 191 218 1999) to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.”


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