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Cruise Ships and Germs: Beware of the Possibility of Taking Ill on a Cruise Ship

In just a few short months, flu season will be upon us and your risk of becoming ill on a cruise ship will increase drastically.  Cruise ships bring together thousands of people from all parts of the country. Passengers stay in close quarters and touch many common surfaces, increasing the risk of the spread of germs.

In recent years, there have been a number of serious outbreaks of illnesses aboard cruise ships.  Norovirus, which also tends to peak in the winter months, is a highly contagious stomach bug that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Last year, several cruise ships were bombarded by the illness.  It sickened thousands of cruise ship passengers and forced some cruise ships to actually head back to shore early.

Complications Stemming from Cruise Ship Illnesses        

The flu, norovirus, and like illnesses can seriously sicken cruise ship passengers.  These illnesses may cause dehydration, weight loss, dangerously high fevers, and more.  While the majority of passengers who become ill will recover rapidly with some assistance from the cruise line physician, others could experience serious complications.  The flu can lead to pneumonia, heart problems, ear or sinus infections, and can worsen underlying conditions such as asthma, congestive heart failure, or diabetes.  The flu kills somewhere between 3,300 and 48,000 people, many of them children or elderly individuals.  Norovirus kills close to 800 people each year. 

The Cruise Line’s Responsibility to Prevent the Spread of Illness

Cruise ships cannot prevent passengers from coming aboard harboring an illness, but they can take steps to prevent the spread of that illness.  All cruise ships should have a protocol in place to mitigate the spread of germs and to quarantine ill passengers.  At all times, crew members must thoroughly sanitize ship areas to kill germs and prevent outbreaks.  When an illness is detected on a ship, the ship should have a protocol in place to quarantine sick passengers so they do not further spread germs around the ship.

Several major cruise lines have been criticized to their poor handling of illnesses, including the failure to quarantine sick passengers and unsanitary conditions that lead to germ spreading.  If you have taken ill on a cruise line and believe negligence may have played a role in your illness, contact a cruise ship accident and illness attorney as soon as possible.  Those with serious illnesses that have cost them medical expenses, time off work, pain and suffering, and more may be eligible to recoup these costs.  Check your cruise line ticket for details as to where you must file your personal injury action, which is generally in Miami, and contact an experienced attorney.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Put Our Over 130 Years of Collective Experience to Work on Your Case!

If you have been injured in a cruise ship accident or become seriously ill while cruising, contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano.  We have of 130 collective years of experience representing those injured in all manner of cruise ship accidents across South Florida.  We seek to obtain the best outcome possible for each of our clients, which will often include recovering for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida.   Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.


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