A newlywed bride in the U.K. claims she and her new husband were just three days into their dream weeklong Egyptian honeymoon when they began suffering from diarrhea and severe stomach pains. Cristina Calafateanu, who married groom Liviu last May, told the Mirror.co.uk that they checked into the Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh, an all-inclusive resort, in July, and that they only ate their meals at the hotel.
When they returned home, Calafateanu, 32, claims that her husband recovered, but that she never did. She said she was eventually diagnosed with infectious gastroenteritis, linked back to Shigella, and has since developed a reactive type of arthritis due to the infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Shigella is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps about a day or two after exposure. While not all patients may exhibit symptoms, others typically recover within five to seven days, but symptoms can linger for four or more weeks or even several months.
Patients with a weakened immune system are more likely to suffer from symptoms for a longer period of time, and about two percent of people infected with Shigella flexneri will experience post-infectious arthritis, which can cause joint pain, eye irritation and painful urination.
According to the CDC, the syndrome only strikes in people who have a specific genetic makeup that puts them at risk for the syndrome, but it can last for months or years and even lead to chronic arthritis.
“I was in absolute agony and could barely walk,” Calafateanu told the Mirror.co.uk. “When the doctors said my illness had caused arthritis I was in a state of disbelief.”
The quality control professional has been unable to return to work and has since contacted a lawyer to work on her case. A representative for Thomas Cook, which operates the Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh, said that the company had not received a complaint yet, but that they will "look into it with the hotel to make sure they are maintaining the high standards our customers expect.”