Guide to holiday sickness reveals why you might wish you weren't there

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The Independent Travel

Adventurous types who have joined the recent flood of holiday-makers going to Peru are more likely to become ill than visitors to any other country.

Adventurous types who have joined the recent flood of holiday-makers going to Peru are more likely to become ill than visitors to any other country.

Two-thirds of the largely mountaineer and backpacker holiday-makers contract an illness of some sort during their visit to Peru, according to a report in Holiday Which? commissioned by the Consumers' Association. By contrast, no British tourists reported ill health when visiting Sweden or the United Arab Emirates.

The survey found tourists on inclusive package tours and cruises were at greatest risk of illness. One in five of people on packages that include food and drink become ill. Two-thirds suffered stomach upsets, raising concern over the quality and hygiene of food preparation in package holiday hotels and resorts, where buffet-style service is common.

The highest level of illness was on cruises, with 21 per cent of those on river cruises suffering illness ­ which was most likely to be a stomach upset ­ and 17 per cent of those on ocean cruises.

The chances of contracting a serious illness are rare, with only one in 1,400 reporting that they had become chronically ill. But malaria, the report warns, kills a dozen British holiday-makers a year, particularly visitors to Gambia and Kenya.

Nearly half of all British visitors to Kenya fell sick while away, Holiday Which? says, and 41 per cent of travellers to India suffered illness. In the Dominican Republic, 39 per cent of visitors were ill, followed by 34 per cent in Egypt, 32 per cent in Tunisia and Mexico and 30 per cent in China.

Turkey had a higher illness rate than most Mediterranean destinations, with nearly a quarter of travellers there falling ill.

Surprisingly, the upmarket island of Corsica, had levels of illness almost as high as Turkey at 21 per cent.

Less than 4 per cent of visitors to Denmark, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands were sick. Five per cent of people who holidayed in Britain were ill during their trip.

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