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Are South Florida Cruise Ship Passengers at Risk for Contracting the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus has caused an uproar worldwide and is one reason why the Rio Olympics may suffer this year, as many athletes and spectators have chosen not to go to Brazil for fear of contracting the Zika virus.  This particular virus has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect which causes infants to have small and misshapen heads.  Recent cases of Zika in the Miami area have caused South Florida residents some concern as the Zika virus has now officially been contracted in the United States.

Zika Cases Identified Near South Florida Port

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed four people contracted the Zika virus in a small area of downtown Miami, near the port where many cruise ships take off.  This has understandably caused many potential cruise ship goers concern as to whether or not it is safe to go on a cruise.  The Florida Department of Health believes the four cases of Zika were locally transmitted and not travel-related. 

Additionally, there have been no cases of Zika linked to any cruise ship at this time.  However, because the Zika virus has been contracted outside of South America, where the virus is thought to have originated from mosquitos, there is a fear that transmission of the virus may eventually spread on cruise ships.  Because a vast majority of cruise ships leaving out of South Florida travel through the Caribbean, the Zika virus fear is very real, as most cases of Zika, as well as the mosquitos that transmit Zika, have been discovered in Central and South America.

Only Time Will Tell if Zika Becomes an Issue for Cruise Ships and Their Passengers

Thankfully there have been no cases of Zika thought to have been transmitted on a cruise ship, but because cruise ships can be hotbeds for the spread of any virus, whether considered harmful or not, it is certainly possible that a case of Zika will be discovered on a cruise ship.  However, the way in which Zika is transmitted is not necessarily the same as the Norovirus for example, which is a highly contagious virus contracted by eating contaminated food or airborne by someone coughing or sneezing.  Instead, Zika is thought to be spread through sexual transmission as well as mosquito bites.

As such, at this time, the most common way in which the Zika virus could potentially be spread on a cruise ship is through mosquito bites, and less commonly through sexual transmission.  While there is no way to predict what type of mosquitos may happen to land on a cruise ship or who may choose to become sexually active on a cruise ship, the likelihood of contracting the virus on a cruise ship is not as high as that of other viruses, such as Norovirus.

The best thing cruise ship passengers can do is to be conscious of the threat of Zika and take all measures possible to protect themselves as they would do with any other virus that has the potential to spread on a cruise ship.

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

Whether you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness on a cruise ship, you may have peace of mind in having your questions answered by a highly qualified legal professional.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, we have more than 130 years of combined professional experience helping injured and ill victims fight to receive the compensation they deserve for their suffering.  Our law firm has received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and has also been named a Top South Florida Law Firm by the Miami Herald.  If you would like to speak with one of our skilled South Florida Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys, contact Greenberg, Stone & Urbano today by calling (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to schedule your free consultation.  You may also contact us online by visiting our website.


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