In 2014, approximately 17 million people boarded cruise ships from North America and sailed to ports all around the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Around 37 percent of the passengers went sailing to the Caribbean, the highest destination for cruise ships across the world by a wide margin.
In February, a Caribbean cruise ship that left Florida was not a pleasant experience for the 2,896 guests onboard. Celebrity Cruise’s Equinox left Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for a 10-day cruise. Shortly after the cruise left port, passengers on the ship began reporting gastrointestinal problems. The symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea. Several crewmembers also reported similar symptoms.
Three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist boarded the ship and conducted an investigation. They took samples and submitted the specimens to a CDC laboratory and interviewed the passengers who became sick. According to a report about the outbreak, “Norovirus is typically brought on board a cruise ship by someone who is already infected, and the virus can be spread by touching contaminated people, objects or food. People with Norovirus are thought to be contagious from the moment they begin feeling sick until several days after they recover.”
In total around 100 passengers and eight crewmembers were infected by the suspected Norovirus outbreak. The ship was ordered to return to port, so that the ship could be disinfected. Norovirus is common pathogen that infects cruise ships. The outbreak is the second Norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship this year. Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Grandeur of the Seas returned to port prior to schedule because the Norovirus had infected the ship. During that outbreak, over 200 people came down with the virus.
Each year about 20 million people are infected with the Norovirus. Only a small minority are on cruise ships, but some of most violent outbreaks are on cruise ships. The virus kills between 700 and 800 each year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a cruise ship accident or suffered an illness on a cruise ship, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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