HEALTH authorities are warning holidaymakers to be wary of travelling to Mexico after six Welsh tourists were struck down with a crippling food poisoning bug in a mass sickness outbreak in Mexico.

Guests staying at luxury all inclusive resorts and hotels in the Riviera Maya resort and Cancun in Mexico are reportedly suffering severe sickness and diarrhoea.

Health authorities said that the outbreak, which they say began in May, now involves 15 hotel resorts in Mexico.

Incredibly this is the FOURTH time that the resort has been hit with a mass sickness outbreak linked to the same bug Cyclospora, writes Simon Lennon.

Last year Nine Welsh tourists were hit by the crippling bug in resorts in Mexico.

Bosses at Public Health Wales are now warning Welsh tourists to be wary of travelling to the region where people have caught the sickness bug.

Advice suggests the illness is likely linked to tainted food delivered to hotels in the region.

Guests are believed to have eaten contaminated food in their hotels and later fell ill with severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

UK Health authorities say investigations are being carried out to try and locate the source of the infection.

Last night Nick Harris Head of Travel at Cardiff based Simpson Millar solicitors - who is representing over 350 victims of past and current outbreaks - said:

“This is beyond belief. I warned TUI and ABTA that British holidaymakers were falling ill in May. But I was repeatedly ignored and now there is another outbreak. They should have been warning people travelling to Mexico but seem to put profit before safety. Tour operators are playing Russian roulette with their customers lives. We are being contacted by many affected holidaymakers and I am genuinely concerned that someone will die before the problem is treated seriously.

"I would urge anyone who has been sick like this on holiday to contact their GP and ask for a Cyclospora test. The current number of victims is just the tip of the iceberg and this is now obviously out of control again but should have been avoided or at least people warned before travelling so that they could make an informed choice."

Victims who have returned to Wales from luxury resorts in Mexico have since been diagnosed with Cyclospora – a bug commonly associated with food and water contaminated with faeces.

The sickness bug is spread by infected human faeces contaminating water or food and previous outbreaks have been connected to fresh fruit such as raspberries and salad products such as basil and lettuce.

The resort suffered a similar outbreak of Cyclospora last year when 78 people from across the UK were confirmed with the bug when they returned home.

More sick are expected to be announced in the next few days in Wales as tourists return from the centre of the outbreak.

In 2016 more than 443 Uk tourists were caught up in an outbreak in the same region.

Health authorities advise Welsh tourists to maintain a high standard of food, water and personal hygiene, even if staying in high-end resorts in Mexico.

Symptoms to be in the lookout for include frequent, watery diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence, low-grade fever, loss of appetite and weight and anyone who feels ill should visit their GP immediately after returning home and request a Cyclsopora test.

A Public Health Wales spokeswoman said: "There have been 6 cases of Cyclospora in Wales confirmed by a laboratory test with a recent history of travel to Mexico."

Dr Robert Smith, Clinical Scientist, Public Health Wales. added: "People travelling to tropical and subtropical countries are at increased risk of Cyclospora infection. Infection is spread by eating or drinking food or drink contaminated with human faeces that contains Cyclospora.

"To reduce your risk of catching Cyclospora you should practice good food and water hygiene at all times whilst on holiday even if staying in high-end, all-inclusive resorts. This includes choosing freshly cooked, piping hot food where possible, avoiding uncooked berries or unpeeled fruit and vegetables that haven’t been washed in safe water, only drinking bottled water and avoiding ice in drinks.

"If on return from holiday, you have any symptoms such as rapid onset of diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea or fatigue, seek medical attention and tell your GP about your travel history.”