At least 226 passengers and 63 crew members on the Crown Princess fell ill from the norovirus illness. It is the second reported outbreak of the gastrointestinal disease to hit the ship within three weeks. During January 29 to February 4, at least 364 passengers and 30 crew members suffered from the illness while on board this Fort Lauderdale cruise ship. According to the CDC, norovirus can spread from person to person through contaminated food, water or by touching an infected surface. Those who suffer from this from this illness will often experience acute gastroenteritis which causes them severe stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, this illness can be very dangerous and life-threatening for the elderly, young children, and those with a compromised immune system.
Our Fort Lauderdale cruise ship attorneys are very concerned about this recent outbreak, since representatives of the ship announced that they had worked with the CDC after the first outbreak to prevent any future spread of the highly contagious illness. Reportedly, crew members provided passengers with preventable safety tips to avoid becoming infected with the illness. They were encouraged to use their own restrooms, wash hands thoroughly and exercise caution when touching surfaces on the ship’s doorknobs and railings. But, this recent second outbreak prompted the cruise ship’s representatives to cut its passenger’s vacation short and returned to Fort Lauderdale two days ahead of the scheduled return date so that the ship can be sanitized.
Moreover, the CDC reports that noroviruses are the most common causes of epidemic gastroenteritis. It is responsible for approximately 50 % off all gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide, and it is estimated that on an annual basis approximately 21 million illnesses are attributable to noroviruses in the United States. Additionally, this is a food borne illness which is often found in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals and college dormitories. The CDC recommends that when an acute outbreak occurs, infected persons should be isolated and remain excluded from non-infected persons for a period of 24-48 hours after their symptoms disappear because of the highly infectious nature of the disease.
If you have a loved one who is a patient in a nursing home facility you should be aware that long-term facilities, including nursing homes are among the most common settings in which nirovirus outbreaks occur in the United States, and there have been cases in which people have died from the illness. Primarily the disease is transmitted from person-to-person, but contaminated food is also a common cause of niroviruses. If you were a passenger on board the Crown Princess, or any other cruise ship and have experienced severe abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should seek medical attention immediately. This is a life threatening disease and there have been associated deaths which have occurred in the United States. Correspondingly, if your loved one has recently fell ill due to this disease, you should contact our office to speak with one of our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys to obtain advice about a potential legal claim.
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