Glossary

HOLIDAY COMPLAINTS AND HOLIDAY ILLNESS GLOSSARY

HolidayTravelWatch have compiled a list of the most common holiday illnesses, holiday diseases and those terms that apply to holiday complaints. We regularly add to this glossary, but we welcome any additions that you feel may help our site visitors. Please contact us if you wish to add to the glossary.

1. ABTA

The principal trade body for the UK travel industry. This body campaigns on behalf of its members for legislative change for the benefit of its membership. It provides a Code of Conduct to govern the members’ relationship with its clients.

2. ABTA Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct created by ABTA which governs the contractual relationship between travel agents and tour operators and the travel consumer.

3. Acceptance (Contract Law)

Acceptance to a contract can be made by words or conduct and it has to be exactly on the same terms as the offer.

4. Adenovirus

Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect the membranes of the respiratory tract, the eyes, the intestines, and the urinary tract. There are several different types of adenovirus and different types cause different symptoms. Although adenoviruses usually cause respiratory illness, they can also cause diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, cystitis, and rashes. Adenoviral infections affect young children much more frequently than adults. Adenoviruses 40 and 41 are common causes of viral gastroenteritis (diarrhoea) in children.

5. Aerotoxic

This is a phrase relating to the condition of Aerotoxic or Sick Aircraft Syndrome. It is claimed that this condition results from exposure to neurotoxins or other toxins within the confines of an aircraft cabin or cockpit. It can lead to serious neurological problems and complete debilitation!

6. Association of British Travel Agents

The principal trade body for the UK travel industry. This body campaigns on behalf of its members for legislative change for the benefit of its membership. It provides a Code of Conduct to govern the members’ relationship with its clients.

7. Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is a disease of birds caused by influenza viruses closely related to human influenza viruses. Transmission to humans in close contact with poultry or other birds occurs rarely and only with some strains of avian influenza. The potential for transformation of avian influenza into a form that both causes severe disease in humans and spreads easily from person to person is a great concern for world health. Avian flu often causes little or no disease in wild waterfowl but sometimes causes large outbreaks associated with high mortality in poultry. In these instances the term 'highly pathogenic avian influenza' (HPAI) is used. This form, which was first recognized in Italy in 1878, is extremely contagious in birds and rapidly fatal, with a mortality approaching 100%. Birds can die on the same day that symptoms first appear. Outbreaks in poultry may spread rapidly.

8. Bacillus

The spores of Bacillus bacteria commonly contaminate raw foods and food materials, particularly foods in contact with the soil or of vegetable origin. The spores of some species (especially Bacillus cereus and the ' Bacillus subtilis' group) survive cooking and can subsequently germinate and grow under favourable conditions, particularly those in warm kitchens. Subsequent consumption of foods in which large numbers of Bacillus spp. have grown can cause gastrointestinal illness, either by the consumption of pre-formed toxin or by toxins produced by these bacteria in the gut.

9. Botulism

Botulism is caused by botulinum toxin, a poison produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The organism is common in the soil and can survive in this environment as a resistant spore. There are three main types of botulism - food-borne botulism, intestinal botulism (which is due to proliferation of the organism in the gut) and wound botulism. Symptoms often begin with blurred vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking, but diarrhoea and vomiting can also occur. The disease can progress to paralysis. Most cases will recover, but the recovery period can be many months. The disease can be fatal in 5-10% of cases; death is due to respiratory failure.

10. Brucellosis

Brucellosis, also known as undulant fever or Mediterranean fever, is caused by the bacterium Brucella. Brucellosis is a zoonosis (an infection acquired from animals). The most commonly affected animals are sheep and goats (with Brucella melitensis), cattle (with Brucella abortus), and pigs (with Brucella suis) Brucellosis has been virtually eliminated from most developed countries, but it is still endemic in Africa, the Middle East, central and south-east Asia, south America and in some Mediterranean countries. Humans can become infected by ingestion of unpasteurised milk or milk products, or via direct or indirect contact with infected animals.

11. Campylobacter

Two species account for the majority of infections: C. jejuni and C. coli. Illness is characterised by severe diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Undercooked meat (especially poultry) is often associated with illness, as is unpasteurised milk and untreated water. The majority of infections, however, remain unexplained by recognised risk factors for disease Campylobacter is found in raw and undercooked meat and poultry, and can also be spread by domestic pets and by person-to-person contact.

12. Capacity to Contract (Contract Law)

Minors (under18), drunks or those suffering from a mental disability do not have the capacity to make a contract, and as such the contract may be voidable, unenforceable or void.

13. Cholera

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.Cholera is spread by contaminated water and food. It generally occurs in regions of the world where there is no clean water or adequate sewage disposal. V. cholerae bacteria produce a toxin which is responsible for the severe diarrhoea, vomiting, and leg cramps characteristic of the disease. In its most extreme form, cholera can be fatal within hours. Cholera is caused by the O1 and O139 serogroups of V. cholerae. Other serogroups exist (and may sometimes cause skin infections in patients exposed to contaminated flood waters), however, these serogroups do not produce the disease known as cholera. Most healthy people infected with V. cholerae O1 and O139 do not become ill. When illness does occur, it is usually relatively mild and self limiting, and can be difficult to distinguish from other types of acute diarrhoea. Fewer than 10% of ill people develop ' cholera gravis' where profuse watery diarrhoea can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not given promptly. Cholera is prevalent in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Sudden large outbreaks are usually caused by a contaminated water supply rather than by direct person-to-person contact.

14. Class or Group Actions

A Class/Group Action allows claims to be aggregated into one lawsuit for discovery, trial and/or settlement. In other words, it is where several people who have suffered the same or similar experience, can pursue together an action for compensation, sharing the evidence, the costs, the risks and the witnesses. It then makes it easier to challenge large corporate defendants.

15. Clostridium Difficile

Clostridium difficile infection is the most important cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea. Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic bacterium that is present in the gut of up to 3% of healthy adults and 66% of infants. However, Clostridium difficile rarely causes problems in children or healthy adults, as it is kept in check by the normal bacterial population of the intestine. When certain antibiotics disturb the balance of bacteria in the gut, Clostridium difficile can multiply rapidly and produce toxins which cause illness. Clostridium difficile infection ranges from mild to severe diarrhoea to, more unusually, severe inflammation of the bowel (known as pseudomembranous colitis). People who have been treated with broad spectrum antibiotics (those that affect a wide range of bacteria), people with serious underlying illnesses and the elderly are at greatest risk. Clostridium difficile infection is usually spread on the hands of healthcare staff and other people who come into contact with infected patients or with environmental surfaces (e.g. floors, bedpans, toilets) contaminated with the bacteria or its spores. Spores are produced when Clostridium difficile bacteria encounter unfavourable conditions, such as being outside the body. They are very hardy and can survive on clothes and environmental surfaces for long periods.

16. Compensation for Holiday Claims

If your claim is successful, you will be awarded compensation. The amount of compensation will depend on the circumstances of the case. In holiday claims against tour operators, damages may be recovered for all or some of the following (please note this list is only intended to be a guide to what you can claim, you should always check with a solicitor who should be able to guide you further): • Diminution in holiday value: In other words, a sum to compensate you for the holiday you paid for but did not get. This award is generally capped at 100% of the holiday cost. • Loss of enjoyment of holiday/mental distress and anxiety: This can be assessed by reference to a daily rate which currently may be up to £150.00 per day or more for each day your holiday was affected, or a percentage of the holiday cost. • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: You will be awarded damages assessed by reference to the duration and severity of any illness or injury and long term consequences. • Special damages and future losses: This includes any loss of earnings, travelling expenses, damaged or lost personal possessions, and any private medical or therapeutic expenses.

17. Condition (Contract Law)

Is a term of the contract. If it breached, the innocent party has the right to treat the contract as cancelled.

18. Consideration (Contract Law)

This is money or something of value which is given in return for another’s promise to supply a product or some other service.

19. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations

These are new regulations designed to protect the consumer from unfair trading, undue influence or misleading actions and omissions. These regulations repeal much of the pre-existing consumer laws in the UK.

20. Contra Preferentum Rule (Contract Law)

Where a contractual document is not clear or unambiguous, the least favourable interpretation of the document will be applied against the person seeking to rely upon the contract.

21. Contract

Is an agreement with the intention of creating legal relations between the parties. It can be written or otherwise, which is intended to be binding on both parties, in return for a product or service in return for money or other consideration. Contracts can be made either by Deed, In Writing or Evidenced in Writing.

22. Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act

An Act designed to create accountability within the management structure of a company where a product or service is provided. There is considerable debate as to whether the Act applies to a death caused by a holiday illness or accident.

23. Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite (a tiny organism) that causes an infection called cryptosporidiosis affecting people and cattle. The most common symptom is watery diarrhoea, which can range from mild to severe. Cryptosporidiosis is most common in children aged between 1 and 5 years, but it can affect anyone. People with weak immune systems are likely to be most seriously affected. Cryptosporidium is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected human or animal faeces. Transmission occurs through animal-to-human or human-to-human contact. People may also be infected by consuming contaminated water or food, or by swimming in contaminated water (for example in lakes or rivers). Infection is frequently associated with foreign travel. The incubation period is 2–5 days. Very low numbers of oocysts are required for infection. The organism is chlorine-resistant and small enough to pass most water filters.

24. Damages (Contract law)

Damages are designed to put the injured party in the same financial position as they would have been in, had the contract been carried out.

25. Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever (also known as break bone fever) is a debilitating, viral illness that is transmitted by the day-biting, Aedes spp of mosquito. It has increased in prevalence over the past decade and is, according to the World Health Organization, the most significant arthropod-borne viral disease worldwide. It is endemic in approximately 100 countries, threatening about 40% (2.5 billion) of the world's population.

26. Discharge of a Contract (Contract Law)

There are four ways in which a contract can be discharged; performance of the contract, discharge by agreement, discharge because the contract has been breached or discharge because the contract cannot carry on because it is frustrated.

27. Duress (Contract Law)

This is where someone is forced into a contract, for example by threats of violence.

28. Dysentry

Shigellosis, also called bacillary dysentery, is caused by four species #58; Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneri, Shigella boydii and Shigella sonnei. Bacillary dysentery is primarily a human disease often acquired by drinking water contaminated with human faeces or by eating food washed with contaminated water. Illness, which can result following the ingestion of 10-100 cells, is common amongst young children although infection occurs in all ages after travel to areas where hygiene is poor. The illness is characterised by diarrhoea, sometimes with blood and mucus. Invasive disease is rare but extra intestinal complications (e.g. Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome) can occur.

29. E-Coli

Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) are found in the intestines of cattle, and thus the commonest sources of infection are consumption of contaminated foodstuffs and direct or indirect contact with animals (usually bovines) or their by-products. Undercooked beef (in particular, mince) or milk have been implicated, but other products have also become contaminated (apple juice, water, cheese etc.). There is a significant risk of person-to-person spread within households and institutions. The best known is E-Coli O157

30. Entamoeba Histolytica

Entamoebae are single-celled parasites that parasitise vertebrates (including humans) and some invertebrates. At least six species of Entamoeba are able to colonise the gut of man, but only one (E. histolytica) causes disease. Infection with E. histolytica is known as amoebiasis.

31. Enteroinvasive Escherichia Coli

Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli produce bloody diarrhoea and are spread by poor hygiene. The organism invades enterocytes, leading to inflammatory diarrhoea: spread to the bloodstream can occur. These pathogens lead to sporadic outbreaks in babies and young children.

32. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is mainly water-borne. It is one of the causes of travellers’ diarrhoea, which is watery and copious and results from an enterotoxin acting on the secretory mechanisms in the gut. The disease can last for up to two weeks.

33. Exclusion Clauses (Contract Law)

This is where changes to the contract or a limitation to the one party’s liability is limited by an express term in the contract. Such clauses are controlled and limited by the law or the courts.

34. Frustration (Contract Law)

Where something happens in the contract, which is not the fault of either party, and that act makes the performance of the contract impossible, illegal or different from what was intended, then both parties may be excused from the contract.

35. Giardia

Giardia are a group of flagellate protozoans (single-celled, microscopic parasites) which grow in the intestines of infected humans or animals. Giardia cause diarrhoeal disease in humans. The disease can be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals or humans, or by consumption of water, food or beverages contaminated by the faeces of infected animals or humans. People may also be infected by swimming in contaminated water (for example in lakes or rivers). The disease has a long incubation period of 5–25 days. Transmission is from person-to-person and there is little food-borne transmission, although water is a possible source of infection.

36. Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium. It lives on the gastric epithelium under the mucus layer of the stomach and duodenum. The bacterium is thought to damage this mucus layer, which is the stomach and duodenum's natural protection from gastric acids. Local inflammation caused by the bacterial infection and exposure to these acids can damage the lining of the stomach and duodenum, eventually leading to ulceration and possibly gastric cancer.

37. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A virus infection causes a range of illness from mild through non specific nausea and vomiting through to hepatitis (liver inflammation, jaundice, or icterus) and rarely liver failure. Symptoms and severity of the illness are generally worse the older the person is when they become infected. Hepatitis A virus was a common childhood infection in the early 20th Century but now in the 21st century it is an unusual infection in the UK. It is normally spread by the faecal-oral route but can also be spread occasionally through blood. Infection is prevented by good hygiene, especially hand washing, safe drinking water and food. Vaccination, passive or active, can be used to prevent groups at high risk including people who have been in contact with someone else who has the infection, travellers to countries where the infection is common, and other groups such as injecting drug users.

38. Hepatitis E

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. The most common causes of hepatitis are viral infections, such as Hepatitis E virus (HEV). HEV is a non-enveloped spherical RNA virus that is classified as a Hepevirus. Hepatitis E was first recognised as a distinct human disease in the 1980s. HEV is transmitted by the faecal-oral route and is common in Asia, Africa and Central America, particularly where sanitation is poor. HEV usually produces mild disease but in rare cases it can prove fatal, particularly in pregnant women.

39. Illegality (Contract Law)

 

40. Illegality (Contract Law)

Contracts that cause someone to do something illegal will not be enforced by the courts.

41. Implied Terms (Contract Law)

Where the parties do not express a particular term in a contract, it can be implied into the contract (eg. The Package Travel Regulations)

42. Injunction (Contract Law)

This is a court order which restrains a person from doing a particular thing.

43. Intention to Create Legal Relations (Contract Law)

In order for an agreement to be enforceable, each party must intend that it be legally binding on the other.

44. Invitation to Treat (Contract Law)

This is not an offer. This is an expression by someone that they are willing to enter to enter into a negotiation with the potential other party to a contract (eg. A brochure)

45. Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. It is caused by a flavivirus and is transmitted by mosquitoes. The World Health Organization estimates that there are approximately 50,000 cases of clinical disease per year with 10,000 deaths, mainly in children. It is endemic in wet, rural areas, but can also occur in urban areas. Areas that are particularly risky are rice fields where mosquitoes thrive and where there is a lot of pig farming. Pigs and wading birds are the predominant hosts for this virus. Japanese encephalitis tends to be seasonal and cases occur mainly through the wet season.

46. Legal Costs

In most successful claims the majority of your legal costs are likely to be recovered from the party at fault. You may be able to receive assistance to pay your legal bill through any of the following: • Conditional fees ('No Win, No Fee') • Legal expenses insurance (You may be covered on your Household Contents Insurance, certain bank accounts or your Travel Insurance) The alternative to these forms of legal funding is to arrange to pay your solicitor through your own private resources. Your solicitor will explain these to you in more detail.

47. Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires' disease is an uncommon form of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacterium. The majority of cases are reported as single (isolated) cases but outbreaks can occur. All ages can be affected but the disease mainly affects people over 50 years of age, and generally men more than women. Smokers and the immunocompromised are at a higher risk. The early symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include a 'flu-like' illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever. Sometimes diarrhoea occurs and confusion may develop. Deaths occur in 10-15% of the general population and may be higher in some groups of patients. The incubation period normally ranges from 2 to 10 days. In rare cases some people may develop symptoms as late as three weeks after exposure. People become infected when they inhale legionella bacteria which have been released into the air in aerosolised form from a contaminated source. Once in the lungs the bacteria multiply and cause either pneumonia or a less serious flu like illness (Pontiac fever). The bacteria are widely distributed in the environment. They can live in all types of water including both natural sources such as rivers and streams, and artificial water sources such as water towers associated with cooling systems, hot and cold water systems and spa pools. They only become a risk to health when the temperature allows the legionellae to grow rapidly, such as in water systems which are not properly designed, installed and/or maintained.

48. Limitation Periods

Under the current Law of England & Wales you must become aware of the time period within which you must bring your case before the court. If you fail to bring your case within the stated timeframe, then you will be disbarred from making a claim at court. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, and you made your contract in those areas, you must check local laws for any variation on these periods. Holiday Illness or Accidents occurring on a ship or aircraft are subject to the limitation periods within the Athens or Montreal (Warsaw) Conventions. Holiday Claims arising outside the UK are also subject to limitation periods within foreign jurisdictions which are sometimes shorter than UK limitation periods.

49. Listeria

Listeria is a rare but potentially life-threatening disease. Healthy adults are likely to experience only mild infection, causing flu-like symptoms or gastroenteritis. However, listeria infection can occasionally lead to severe blood poisoning (septicaemia) or meningitis. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to listeria. It is particularly dangerous in pregnancy as although the illness is unlikely to be serious for the mother, it can cause miscarriage, premature delivery or severe illness in a newborn child.

50. Lyme Borreliosis

Human beings become infected after being bitten by hard-bodied ticks ( Ixodes species) that are infected with B. burgdorferi. Ticks become infected when they feed on birds or mammals that carry the bacterium in their blood.

51. Lyme Disease

Human beings become infected after being bitten by hard-bodied ticks ( Ixodes species) that are infected with B. burgdorferi. Ticks become infected when they feed on birds or mammals that carry the bacterium in their blood.

52. Malaria

Malaria is a preventable, life-threatening disease transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. There are four types of malaria that affect humans: Plasmodium falciparum (which is responsible for the vast majority of malaria deaths), Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae.

53. Misrepresentation (Contract Law)

A statement within the contract which is untrue will be a misrepresentation and the contract can be cancelled or the other party can make a claim for compensation.

54. Mistake (Contract Law)

A mistake in contract can be made either mutually, unilaterally or via a common mistake.

55. MoneyClaims Online

This is an extension of the Small Claims Court and allows a Claimant to register their claim online. This service is also provided by the UK Courts Service.

56. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are part of the insect order Diptera, the two-winged flies. Adult mosquitoes are thin, slender-bodied insects, measuring 4 - 10mm in length. They have characteristic scale-covered wings and a long feeding mouth-part (the proboscis). They are one of a number of blood-feeding insects and are often confused with midges, horse-flies, and black-flies. Many different species of mosquito are present in the UK.

57. Non Est Factum (Contract Law)

This means ‘not his deed’. This is a plea made by one party that they have signed the document by mistake. If they are successful, then the contract will be void.

58. Norovirus

Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are found in the gastrointestinal tract and readily spread from person-to-person. Environmental contamination is common, and spread can occur from food (molluscs in particular) and water. Sometimes referred to as ‘winter vomiting disease’, they are the leading cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the UK. Characterised by diarrhoea and vomiting (often projectile) with sudden onset following an incubation period of 24–48 h. Highly contagious.

59. Norwalk-like Virus

Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are found in the gastrointestinal tract and readily spread from person-to-person. Environmental contamination is common, and spread can occur from food (molluscs in particular) and water. Sometimes referred to as ‘winter vomiting disease’, they are the leading cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the UK. Characterised by diarrhoea and vomiting (often projectile) with sudden onset following an incubation period of 24–48 h. Highly contagious.

60. Offer (Contract Law)

An offer is an expression by one party to a contract to another, with intention that it should become binding on both parties as soon as it has been accepted by the other party.

61. Package Travel Directive

This is the primary piece of EU Legislation - 90/314/EEC - which was created on 13 June 1990. This EU legislation was created to protect Travel Consumers and is required to be adopted into each of the Member States. In the UK we know its adoption generally as 'The Package Travel Regulations'.

62. Package Travel Regulations

The Package Travel Regulations were created following a European Directive (90/314/EEC), which answered numerous holiday complaints throughout Europe, of the lack of redress a consumer had in a Package Holiday contract. The Directive was adopted by the UK in the form of the regulations on the 31st December 1992 and they have had considerable impact on the rights of consumers in this country. The Regulations set out how the parties to the contract may be identified and goes onto deal with what information should be provided to the customer at the beginning of the contract. It also sets out the terms and extent of liability a tour operator has toward a holidaymaker.

63. Paratyphoid

Paratyphoid, also known as enteric fever, is a disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi. Paratyphoid fever is a similar disease to typhoid fever but generally milder. The disease is almost exclusively acquired abroad through the ingestion of heavily contaminated food and water. Typhoid and paratyphoid bacteria are passed in the faeces and urine of infected people. People become infected by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by an infected person, or by drinking water that has been contaminated by sewage containing the bacteria. Good hygiene and proper sanitation prevent the spread of paratyphoid and typhoid.

64. Pontiac Fever

Pontiac fever is a mild flu-like illness caused be legionella bacteria, often affecting previously healthy and young individuals. Symptoms can include fever, headaches and muscle aches but, unlike Legionnaires' disease, Pontiac fever does not cause pneumonia. The illness will usually clear up without treatment within two to three days. Outbreaks of the disease in the UK are uncommon but have been connected to the inhalation of legionella bacteria found in spa pools. Outbreaks of Pontiac fever have been reported to be caused by L. pneumophila. L. feeleii, L. micdadei and L. anisa. Pontiac fever may separately, or together with Legionnaires' disease, be referred to as 'Legionellosis'. In contrast to Legionnaires' disease, a high proportion of those exposed to the source of infection may become ill.

65. Promissory Estoppel (Contract Law)

Estoppel means that someone is prevented from going back on their word or promise.

66. Psittacosis

Psittacosis is caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydophila psittaci. It is primarily an infection of birds, but can cause pneumonia and other severe health problems in humans. Human infection is usually due to exposure to infected pet birds, such as cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, and macaws, or to poultry.

67. Quantum Meruit (Contract Law)

Means ‘As much as he has earned’. This means that someone who has done 1/3 of the work they are required to do under a contract, they will be able to claim 1/3 of the payment owed.

68. Rabies

Rabies is an acute viral infection that is nearly always fatal. Transmission is usually through saliva via the bite of an infected animal, with dogs being the main transmitter of rabies to humans. The World Health Organization has estimated the annual number of human rabies deaths to be between 40,000 and as high as 70,000. Most of these deaths take place in developing countries, particularly in South and South East Asia.

69. Rat Bite Fever

Human infection is usually acquired either from a rat bite/scratch, handling infected rats, or, in the case of the form of disease known as Haverhill fever, ingestion of milk or water contaminated with the organism (via rat urine). A large outbreak occurred following this route of transmission in the UK in 1983 (McEvoy 1987). At a boarding school in Essex, 304 pupils (of 700, 43%) had a febrile illness with arthralgia and a rash. Four cases were blood culture positive for S. moniliformis. Raw milk initially appeared to be the vehicle of infection, but detailed epidemiological investigations and analysis showed that the vehicle was more likely to have been water. Opportunity for contamination of drinking water by rats existed, although contamination was not confirmed by the isolation of S. moniliformis from either rats or the water supply. Rat-bite fever usually develops within 7 days of the bite, and begins abruptly with fever and chills, followed by severe myalgia and joint pain, headache and nausea. Many patients develop a rash, most often on the extremities. About half of all patients develop a non-suppurative arthritis, and a minority of cases have a form of non-bacteraemic disease with septic arthritis. Person-to-person transmission does not occur.

70. Recission (Contract Law)

This is an equitable remedy of the court. This cancels the contract and will put the parties to the contract back in their original positions.

71. Rectification (Contract Law)

Where a mistake has been made in a contract, the court can correct the mistake made by both parties.

72. Referral Code

This is the Code that governs how a referral should be made from a claims management company and a solicitor. They are monitored by the Claims Management Regulator.

73. Rotovirus

The most common causes of gastroenteritis in infants and young children are rotaviruses. However, rotavirus diarrhoea can occur in all age groups. The incidence has been fairly stable over the last decade. Rotavirus produces watery diarrhoea lasting for 5–8 days, preceded by vomiting. Dehydration, compensated metabolic acidosis, and low-grade fever may occur. Incubation period is 24–48 h.

74. Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria cause food poisioning, typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever. More than 2500 different strains of salmonella have been identified. Young children, the elderly and people whose immune systems are not working properly have a greater risk of becoming severely ill. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. Salmonella has a short incubation period of 12 to 72 hours. Person-to-person spread can occur. The symptoms are diarrhoea and vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, with possible complications of septicaemia and local infections. Salmonella enteritidis accounted for about 57% of all Salmonella infections in 2000 (Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 accounted for 57% of these). The proportion of Salmonella enteritidis infections rose throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but has started to fall over the last few years, since 1997. This may result from improvements in food hygiene and vaccination of poultry flocks. Transmission occurs by eating contaminated food, mainly of animal origin, or by faecal contamination from an infected person or animal.

75. Shigella

Shigella infections have fallen dramatically from a peak in 1992: most of the peak was due to Shigella sonnei, and even though the incidence of this pathogen has declined relative to other Shigella species, it still provided 68% of all isolates in 1998. However, Shigella sonnei infection is generally milder than infections due to other species of Shigella, which are usually acquired outside the UK. Spread is mainly faecal–oral, with only occasional spread from food and water. The disease is highly contagious. The incubation period is 1–7 days.

76. Sick Aircraft Syndrome

This is the serious condition resulting from exposure to neurotoxins or other toxins within the confines of an aircraft cabin or cockpit. It can lead to serious neurological problems and complete debilitation!

77. Significant Change

This expression refers to the Travel Consumer pre-departure rights under Regulations 12 & 13 of The package Travel Regulations. Significant Changes occur usually when some aspect to the holiday is radically changed, for example, a change of hotel, overbooking of a hotel, a change of resort, closure of facilities, a change in a ship's or tour's itinerary, natural or man made disaster's affecting a destination, outbreak's of illness at a hotel, resort or on board a ship, a radical change to the price etc! Whilst the definition only refers to pricing as an example to an 'essential' term of the contract, it is generally accepted that important changes to a holiday contract are also considered as Significant Changes. Remember, this is one of the most common complaints and is an area that is receiving the attention of the EU Commission!

78. Small Claims Court

This is the lowest Civil Court in the UK. It provides for a low cost access to justice and limits the value of cases before it; £1000 for personal injury claims, £5000 for contractual claims.

79. Small Round Structured Virus

Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses are found in the gastrointestinal tract and readily spread from person-to-person. Environmental contamination is common, and spread can occur from food (molluscs in particular) and water. Sometimes referred to as ‘winter vomiting disease’, they are the leading cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the UK. Characterised by diarrhoea and vomiting (often projectile) with sudden onset following an incubation period of 24–48 h. Highly contagious.

80. Solicitors Code of Conduct

This is Code by which all solicitors must operate under and is created by The Law Society and monitored by The Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

81. Solicitors Regulatory Authority

The Body that monitors the conduct of solicitors in England & Wales.

82. Specific Performance (Contract Law)

This is an equitable remedy of the court. This is where the court will order a party to the contract to do what they have agreed to do under the contract.

83. Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is a common coloniser of human skin and mucosa. Staphylococcus aureus can cause disease, particularly if there is an opportunity for the bacteria to enter the body. Illnesses such as skin and wound infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and bacteraemia (blood stream infection) may then develop. It can also cause food poisoning. Most strains of this bacterium are sensitive to many antibiotics, and infections can be effectively treated. Some S. aureus bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic methicillin, termed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

84. Traveller’s Diarrhoea

Travellers' diarrhoea (TD) is a syndrome which may be caused by one or more of several different organisms; the most common being ETEC (enterotoxigenic E.coli). Other organisms associated with gastrointestinal illness include Campylobacter spp, Salmonella spp, some viruses (Norovirus) and protozoa ( Cryptosporidium spp and Giardia spp being the main ones). Dysentery and cholera are also less common causes of diarrhoea in travellers. Several studies have estimated the incidence of TD to be between 30 - 50% in those travelling from a developed country to a developing country. It can sometimes depend on the prevalence in each individual country. It is worth noting that many more people in the local population of developing countries, particularly children, suffer more serious consequences even death from diarrhoeal disease. According to figures from the World Health Organization, two million children die each year in developing countries from diarrhoeal diseases. Gastrointestinal illness for most travellers is a non-serious, self-limiting illness, however the person suffering from it can feel very ill indeed and it can certainly be distressing enough to ruin a holiday or business trip.

85. Typhoid

Typhoid, sometimes known as enteric fever, is a disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Classic typhoid fever is a serious disease. It can be life-threatening unless treated promptly with antibiotics. The disease lasts several weeks and convalescence takes some time. Typhoid varies in severity, but nearly all patients experience fever and headache. The incubation period is usually 7-14 days, but can be shorter or longer depending upon how many bacteria are ingested. Symptoms include sustained fever (39°C to 40°C), headache, stomach pains, loss of appetite and nausea. In some cases, patients have a rash of flat, rose-colored spots. Typhoid is almost exclusively acquired abroad through the ingestion of heavily contaminated food and water. Typhoid bacteria are passed in the faeces and urine of infected people. People become infected by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by an infected person, or by drinking water that has been contaminated by sewage containing the bacteria. Good hygiene and proper sanitation prevent the spread of typhoid.

86. Uberrimae Fides (Contract Law)

This means ‘of the utmost good faith’. This means that a party to a contract is under a duty to disclose all relevant information.

87. Undue Influence (Contract Law)

This is where someone is forced into making a contract through pressurising, or influencing them in a way that they do not make a free choice to enter into the contract.

88. Unfair Contract Terms Act

This Act of Parliament provides rights to contracting parties against the unfairness of a clause in a contract.

89. Verotoxin-producing Escherichia Coli

Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) are found in the intestines of cattle, and thus the commonest sources of infection are consumption of contaminated foodstuffs and direct or indirect contact with animals (usually bovines) or their by-products. Undercooked beef (in particular, mince) or milk have been implicated, but other products have also become contaminated (apple juice, water, cheese etc.). There is a significant risk of person-to-person spread within households and institutions. The best known is E-Coli O157

90. Void Contracts

Such a contract has no legal effect and as such, no property can be passed to the other party under the contract.

91. Voidable Contracts

Such a contract is valid until one party decides that they would like to rescind it. If the property has already passed to a third party, they will have good title to the property.

92. Waiver (Contract Law)

This means that you give up your rights to what you are entitled to in law.