Norovirus and gastrointestinal illness outbreaks are widespread problems throughout the cruise industry. So far this year alone the following outbreaks were reported by the Centers for Disease Control:
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line – Vision of the Seas – Norovirus (Feb. 25 – Mar. 08)
Princess Cruises – Ruby Princess – Norovirus (Mar. 3 – Mar. 10)
Celebrity Cruises – Infinity – Norovirus (Mar. 17 – Apr. 1)
Celebrity Cruises – Solstice – Norovirus (Apr. 8 – Apr. 25)
Holland America Line – Veendam – E. Coli (Apr. 13 – May 4)
Crystal Cruises – Symphony – Norovirus (Apr. 29 – May 6)
Celebrity Cruise Lines – Millennium – Norovirus (Apr. 25 – May 10)
Norovirus and gastrointestinal illness are spread through touching contaminated surfaces, objects, or substances as well as eating contaminated food. People infected with Norovirus can spread the disease for up to two weeks after their symptoms resolved. Often times crew members who prepare food and handle dishes are placed back to work as soon as they are “feeling better” thus spreading Norovirus to the passengers. This is a recipe for disaster for a cruise ship which confines many people in a small area for days to weeks at a time. Once Norovirus takes hold on a ship, it can be passed from person to person in rapid order.
Passengers often question if they should hire a lawyer to sue the cruise line because they contracted Norovirus. The answer depends upon how sick you become. Norovirus is no fun. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, fever and abdominal pain. If you just experiences flu symptoms, we recommend you contact the cruise line and negotiate a settlement directly. However, if your life was threatened due to the Norovirus, we recommend you contact a well qualified maritime lawyer to discuss your claim. The cruise injuries lawyers of Brais Brais & Rusak have significant experiences litigating Norovirus cases and have obtained settlements for passengers whose Norovirus triggered heart attacks, bacterial cellulitis requiring hospitalization and even caused death.