ALBERTA

Cancun Resort's Hand, Foot And Mouth ‘Outbreak' May Be Overreaction By Alberta Mom

03/03/2016 01:23 EST | Updated 03/03/2016 03:00 EST

An Alberta mom’s popular Facebook post warning travellers to stay away from a Mexican resort might be causing unnecessary worry.

Kat Boblin visited the Royalton Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos, Mexico with her boyfriend and 19-month-old daughter last month.

Boblin wrote on Facebook that four days into their stay, her daughter developed a rash and blisters. A doctor told her it was hand, mouth and foot disease (HMFD). Boblin said that she spotted other children at the resort with similar rashes.

The mother from Black Diamond, Alta. shared her story in a Facebook post that has gone viral.

So I have been asked to make this public so people can share it. Everyone please share if you know anyone that travels...

Posted by Kat Boblin on Thursday, 25 February 2016


While media outlets including CBC, CTV and Global reported on the story, commenters on the news sites pointed out that she might be making a mountain out of a molehill.

While the rash looks scary, it’s actually a very mild and common illness, according to the Centre for Disease Control.

It can take three to six days for children to start showing symptoms, so it’s possible some of the infected kids might have picked up the disease outside of the resort, or back in Canada.

HFMD is highly contagious and once it begins spreading it’s hard to stop, short of bleaching all infected surfaces, and adding heavy amounts of chlorine to swimming pools, according to the CDC.

“Well, oddly enough, there was an outbreak of hand-foot-and mouth among Canadian youngsters who DIDN’T go to Mexico last December,” wrote one commenter on CTV’s website.

A Global News reader said that her child caught HFMD in an Edmonton swimming pool for the fifth time and recovered just fine.

Boblin acknowledged that HFMD is common, but told CBC that she wished the hotel wasn't "refusing to warn other families."

Blue Diamond Resorts, which manages the Royalton Riviera Cancun, said in a statement to CBC that it found 15 cases of HFMD between December and February, but the number and severity of cases is not enough to constitute an outbreak.

Boblin said the resort offered her a late checkout and asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement — a request that infuriated her because she felt the resort could have done more.

The company said it did not ask Boblin to sign such an agreement, but “a standard waiver as acknowledgement of receiving a service as compensation.”

The resort said it implemented rigorous infection protocols after hearing about an increased number of cases in the region.

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