Three separate outbreaks of norovirus that affected more than 100 people each have been reported aboard two cruise liners, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Two of the ill-fated cruises struck Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. During the ship’s April 5-12 cruise, over 100 of the nearly 3,000 passengers and crew were sickened, primarily by vomit and diarrhea. During the ship’s cruise the prior week, 117 passengers and crew were also sickened by norovirus, according to the CDC. The third outbreak affected Princess Cruise’s Crown Princess during a week-long cruise that ended on April 11; in all, 152 of the more-than 4,000 passengers and crew were sickened.
Norovirus is a highly-infectious virus that can be picked up through contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces. It causes inflammation of the stomach, intestines or both, often leading to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the Grandeur of the Seas in Baltimore, Maryland on April 12 to conduct an investigation.
“[We are] really taking a look at their cleaning, sanitation and hygiene practices that are being employed on the ship to interrupt the spread of disease,” stated CDC spokeswoman Bernadette Burden.
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Cruise lines have a responsibility to keep their passengers and crew safe from serious illnesses like norovirus. Cruise lines that neglect performing proper maintenance, use defective equipment or fail to train crewmembers could be held responsible for serious personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Did You Know: Each year in the US, norovirus causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and as many as 800 deaths, according to the CDC.
Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys