Are viruses and infections common on cruise ships?

October 9 2022 | Cruise Ship Accidents

While many people might assume that Maritime Law is reserved for injuries to seamen, deck hands and career sailors, paying customers can also get hurt on a cruise ship. From injuries and assault to food poisoning and infections, those looking for a relaxing vacation could suffer serious harm.

Even though gastrointestinal illness on an ocean liner might be statistically infrequent, in such an enclosed, isolated space even a small outbreak can prove disastrous to everyone onboard. On a cruise ship, a virus can expand exceptionally fast. Many times, these illnesses can be traced back to norovirus.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be transmitted in numerous ways including via contaminated food, contaminated water, contaminated surfaces or contact with a contaminated individual. The virus leads to an inflammation of the stomach and intestines and can lead to numerous symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache and body aches
  • Stomach pain

If the body’s intake of fluids is substantially less than the outflow (due to vomiting, diarrhea or fever sweats), an individual might suffer from dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can include discolored urine, sluggishness, decrease in urination, severe headache, and feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness.

Norovirus spreads easily on a cruise ship and can be hard to detect at first. Similar to the flu or common cold, the virus continues to mutate meaning that previous infection does not protect an individual against other types of the virus. If you have suffered food poisoning, an infection or any type of injury on a cruise ship, it is wise to explore your legal options for monetary compensation.


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