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Norovirus Has Proven to be a Common Form of Cruise Ship Illnesses – U.K. Court Holds Cruise Liner Responsible

If you have ever had a stomach bug or flu, you know just how awful the symptoms can be.  Norovirus is an extremely contagious stomach-related infection that has been known to plague cruise ships, causing numerous passengers and crew members to become ill.  A recent court ruling in the United Kingdom, the first of its kind in U.K. courts, determined that Fred Olson Cruise Lines is responsible for the illnesses suffered by numerous passengers onboard the cruise ship Boudicca in March and April of 2011.  The U.K. court found that the Norovirus victims are entitled to compensation for their suffering as a result of contracting Norovirus.

The Boudicca cruise ship had been traveling in the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and the Iberian Peninsula when the Norovirus outbreak occurred, confining many passengers to their cabins for the duration of the cruise.  While Norovirus can be contracted anywhere, when contracted on a cruise ship, the rate at which people can catch the illness goes up as there may not be an opportunity for ill passengers to exit the ship at any given moment.  If the cruise ship is not close to land, passengers may be stuck dealing with the illness until the cruise ship can reach its destination.

Symptoms Associated with Norovirus

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach which may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, severe stomach cramps, fever, headaches and body aches.  It usually takes a few days at most to recover from Norovirus.  However, the effects of the infection can leave victims feeling fatigued and ill for days after the most severe symptoms stop.

How Does Norovirus Spread?

Because Norovirus is extremely contagious, it can spread in a number of ways, including through contaminated food as well as airborne from one person sneezing or coughing.  However, Norovirus is currently the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States.  As such, because food is a common source of Norovirus, food onboard a cruise ship may be the likely source of the infection that many passengers and crew members have contracted.  Additionally, passengers and crew members onboard a cruise ship do not always have a choice of what to eat.  They must eat the food that is available, and if that food happens to be contaminated with Norovirus, there is a significant risk that passengers and crew members will catch the virus, become ill, and potentially spread the virus to others.

The U.K. court’s decision to hold Fred Olson Cruise Lines accountable for the March and April 2011 Norovirus outbreak onboard the Boudicca demonstrates that the court believes the cruise liner could have done more to prevent the outbreak of a highly contagious virus.

Contact the Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation!

Airborne and foodborne illnesses have been known to plague passengers and crew members of cruise ships, and the consequences can be disastrous, and even deadly in some situations.  If you or a loved one has suffered an illness after being on a cruise ship and you believe you contracted the illness while on the cruise ship, you may be entitled to compensation if there is evidence to link your illness to the cruise ship.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, we have more than 130 years of combined professional experience representing injured victims and their loved ones fight for the compensation they deserve.  Having received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and being named a Top South Florida Law Firm by the Miami Herald, our law firm has a reputation for success and outstanding client service.  To schedule your free consultation to discuss your cruise ship injury or illness with one of our South Florida Cruise Ship Attorneys, contact Greenberg, Stone & Urbano today by calling (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.  You may also contact us online by visiting our website.

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