Dream holiday turns into nightmare after Zika outbreak

Hannah Sewell
Hannah Sewell
  • World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency in response to Zika
  • Virus has hit more than 20 countries
  • Brazil reported around 4,000 cases of microcephaly since October

A pregnant woman has pulled out of her dream holiday to Mexico after the outbreak of the Zika virus.

Craigavon girl Hannah Sewell had booked and paid for her holiday to Las Vegas and Mexico long before she ever dreamed she would become pregnant.

However her joy at discovering her and her partner John Moore were about to become parents turned into a nightmare when the Zika virus broke out.

The World Health Organisation has declared a global public health emergency and is probing why the Zika virus could be causing a devastating spike in cases of babies being born with underdeveloped brains in South America.

And the nightmare got worse when she initially struggled with holiday firm American Holidays to get a refund on her 10 day trip.

Hannah, from Meadowbrook, explained that when she discovered a few weeks ago that she was pregnant, she immediately informed her travel agent and voiced concerns about going to central America given the epidemic Zika virus.

“There is no way I was going to go over there and put my baby in any danger,” said the 29-year-old.

Hannah and her partner booked the holiday last year and had no idea that she would get pregnant or that there would be this dangerous virus.

“We normally go on budget breaks but for the first time we decided to pull out all the stops and go on a proper five star holiday,” said Hannah who works at Rock Pamper Scissors salon in Aghagallon.

They booked four days in Las Vegas and six days in the luxury resort of Cancun and were due to fly out in March.

However news of Zika put paid to the dream and Hannah wanted her money back.

She went to her travel agent in Lurgan however there appeared to be issues about American Holidays refunding their money.

Hannah contacted the Lurgan Mail and after discussions with her travel agent and American Holidays, the firm finally decided to refund the mum-to-be her money.

A spokesperson for American Holidays told the MAIL today: “We have good news, Hannah’s money will be fully refunded.”