MIAMI, FL— July 7, 2011 – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating a cruise line based in San Francisco after yet another norovirus outbreak plagued passengers aboard the Alaska-bound Sea Princess cruise ship. According to information provided by the San Francisco Examiner, there have been more than 350 confirmed cases of the gastrointestinal illness since May 10, 2011.
Reports indicated that a total of four cruise ship norovirus outbreaks were reported over a span of less than two months, causing hundreds of passengers aboard the Sea Princess, which is operated by Princess Cruises, to fall ill.
When the Sea Princess departed on May 10, 44 passengers fell ill. There were 2,049 people aboard the cruise vessel during that trip. The second outbreak was reported on the voyage beginning May 20, leaving 128 out of 2,049 travelers aboard the ship sickened. Then a third outbreak was reported on the Alaska cruise voyage that departed from the Port of San Francisco on May 30, causing 142 of the total 2,128 passengers aboard to suffer from norovirus symptoms.
The final outbreak was reported on the June 19 Alaska cruise trip. A total of 53 passengers were infected in that case. Also, the Princess Cruises-owned Coral Princess vessel was reportedly plagued by a norovirus outbreak this year, though it was not clear how many passengers and/or ship crew members were infected.
Norovirus is an extremely contagious viral infection that causes gastroenteritis. Symptoms of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, fever and chills. Norovirus has been known to cause approximately 50 percent of all gastroenteritis outbreaks, CDC data suggested.
From 2006 to 2010, there were over 80 cruise ship norovirus outbreaks reported.
Karen Candy, a spokesperson for Princess Cruises, suspected that an already–infected passenger caused the most recent outbreak, stating, “In addition to our cleaning procedures, we rely on passengers’ compliance and good hygiene habits… and the two of these must work in tandem to eradicate an outbreak.”
The CDC is investigating the slew of cruise line norovirus outbreaks.
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For more than 30 years, the Miami cruise ship injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz have been dedicated to protecting the rights of travelers and cruise ship employees who have sustained serious injury or been subjected to preventable harm while aboard these “hospitable” vessels. The experienced Florida cruise ship accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to ensure that justice be upheld in the cruise ship industry, and that cruise ship accident victims ultimately be compensated for their injuries and damages.