Holidaymaker loses toe after infection ’caused by a hot tub’ in Spain

DOCTORS have had to amputate a man’s little toe after he got an infection in a cut in his foot which he blames on a hot tub in the Spanish resort of Salou.

Rob Barlow, from Bridgend in Wales, is now warning other holidaymakers to be aware of the dangers of using hot tubs with any cuts or open wounds in the skin.

Rob has told how a ‘nip of skin’ came off his little toe, the day prior to using the hot tub, but he had protected it with a double plaster.

But he went on to describe how, within 24 hours of using the hot tub, he started to get ‘shivery and shaky’.

Within a day of flying back to Cardiff his foot had started to go black and he went to hospital. The consultant told him the little toe would have to be amputated.

Now Mr Barlow is trying to claim compensation for the incident from the holiday tour company TUI and says he hopes it doesn’t happen to other holidaymakers.

Experts say hot tubs are a great way to soak and relax but they are also known to harbour a lot of germs and transmit water-bourne diseases if not correctly maintained.

The temperature of hot tub water is definitely not high enough to kill bacteria and other germs. The warm, wet environment actually fosters bacterial growth and survival. “Germs are perfectly happy living at those temperatures and can survive for days, even weeks,” says germ expert Kelly Reynolds.

“If someone gets into a contaminated hot tub with a cut, ingrown hair, or any other open wound where the water can enter — they can easily contract a bad infection, which requires further treatment, ” Dr. Pritish Tosh, infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic said.

A TUI UK spokesperosn said: “We’re sorry to learn of Mr Barlow’s experience. As this is a serious situation which we are currently investigating, we’re unable to comment further.”

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