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Royal Caribbean Norovirus Outbreaks

In January 2014, over 600 passengers became dangerously ill while aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship on its way to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Before anyone knew what was happening, passengers were suffering from fevers, vomiting and diarrhea. In order to get these passengers to proper medical treatment, and prevent the outbreak from spreading to the other 3,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew members aboard, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship had no choice but turn around and head back to its New Jersey port.

The culprit of this nightmare on the sea? The highly contagious norovirus.

What is Norovirus?

The norovirus is a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is the cause of over 21 million illnesses in the US each year. Out of these cases, between 56,000 and 71,000 require hospitalization. Even more worrying, norovirus is the cause of over 800 deaths every year. As if this wasn't bad enough, norovirus is notorious for mutating into different strains, such as the recent 'super bug' known as GII 4 Sydney, which was the cause of a particularly nasty outbreak aboard the Queen Mary II in 2013.

Norovirus is a highly contagious disease that is easily spread from person to person. It can also be spread via contaminated food and water. Since cruise ships are often crowded and contained, they are always susceptible to a norovirus outbreak – which is why reading about outbreaks such as the previously mentioned Royal Caribbean incident often make headlines.

Your Royal Caribbean Norovirus Attorney

Not only will a norovirus outbreak disrupt your relaxing Caribbean cruise, not to mention likely put you off to signing up for any future cruises, it can also cause significant havoc to your health and well-being. As the CDC statistics indicate, norovirus can require hospitalization and, in worse case scenarios, even death. Not only will this medical treatment costs you money, you will likely lose time at work. Soon you could find yourself facing a mounting pile of bills and the nagging calls of credit collectors.

Before you become overwhelmed, know that the law does offer you protection. In fact, if the Royal Caribbean cruise was responsible for the norovirus outbreak, then you may have the right to seek compensation from them for your medical expenses and other related damages. Royal Caribbean can be held responsible if, for example, it can be shown that the source of the outbreak was contaminated food or unsanitary pools, for example. However, Royal Caribbean can also be held responsible if it can be shown that they failed to take proper steps to stop the virus' spread or if they failed to provide you the proper care and treatment.

If you, or a loved one has suffered from a Royal Caribbean norovirus outbreak, you should seek the advice of an experienced cruise ship attorney. Since 1977, James Cunningham has been helping Royal Caribbean norovirus victims receive justice and fair compensation. Contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

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