Norovirus Outbreaks on 3 Alaska Cruise Ships Sicken Hundreds

MIAMI, FL— Federal health authorities recently reported that since May 2011, three Alaska cruise ships have been plagued by norovirus outbreaks. According to information provided by the San Jose Mercury News, two of the cruise ship illness outbreaks were reported on the Sea Princess and another on the Celebrity Millennium, collectively sickening nearly 400 people.

The first serious norovirus outbreak was reported aboard the Celebrity Millennium vessel, which apparently set sail on May 20. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 113 cases of norovirus illnesses on that particular cruise ship.

The two most recent outbreaks left approximately 280 people aboard the Sea Princess cruise ship (about 140 people on each of the 10-day cruise voyages) sickened. The first outbreak occurred on a cruise ending on May 30, while the other was reported on a cruise ending on June 9. In both instances, the ship departed from a port in San Francisco. About six percent of cruise passengers and one percent of ship crew members became infected in those two outbreaks.

According to CDC Captain Jaret Ames, “They will isolate people in their cabins until they are symptom-free for a period of 24 hours. They will prevent those people from leaving the ship by marking their key cards so they can’t go ashore. So once they’re aware of it they do have a good system for monitoring those cases.”
The CDC has confirmed such outbreaks on five cruises, including those previously mentioned, since the beginning of this year. Between 2006 and 2010, there were more than 80 cruise ship norovirus outbreaks reported.

Norovirus is a highly 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.


About the Miami cruise ship accident lawyers and maritime attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz:
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 injury 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.

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