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The Norovirus Outbreak

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Illnesses | 0 comments

Legally speaking, when cruise ship passengers catch the norovirus while on travel, they are likely not to get any compensation since there are no current laws that mandate cruise ships to compensate norovirus patients. It would simply be like getting sick while on a private holiday vacation, but the cost of medical treatment, which includes doctor’s fee and medication, being shouldered by their insurance provider.

Norovirus, to start with, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the intestines and the stomach, usually due to viral infection or bacterial toxins. It is a very contagious disease which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, affects 19 to 21 million individuals in the US every year, causing up to 70,000 hospitalizations and up to 800 deaths.

The virus that causes this illness is found in the stool and vomit of infected people. There is no exact determination how this illness actually starts, though, acquiring the virus that leads to it is obviously very easy, specifically through:

  • Touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with the norovirus and then having
    your fingers or hand touch your mouth
  • Direct contact with an infected person, including sharing food with him or her, or using utensil
    that he or she used
  • Drinking or eating anything that has been contaminated with the virus

There are people who consider the norovirus illness as a minor health issue, despite the many number of people it can immediately affect and the pain and inconvenience felt by those affected. This is obviously due to the fact that those infected recuperate within three days after the symptoms appear – the usual case involving those who are healthy; however, if those infected have a weak immune system, like young children, residents of nursing home facilities and those with health conditions, then the illness may last for months or even years.

News of possible norovirus illness, especially in cruise ships, should not be taken lightly and those affected should be given competent medical care and assistance so as to hasten their recovery as well as stop the virus from spreading further and infect more passengers. Quarantine of those infected and immediate disinfection of the environment or of the cruise ship are called for, otherwise, it could be a case of incorrect medical procedure which, according to website of the Louis A. Vucci, still occur despite the presence of licensed medical professionals and trained personnel. This incorrect procedure, the firm continues, can result to prolonged illness, worsening of original symptoms, and allergic reactions.

There may be no law mandating cruise ships to compensate passengers who contract the norovirus illness, however, if the illness worsens and severely affects the passenger’s life (work, family activities and other concerns), then it would be a different story.

In the event of personal injury, any law firm would advise the victim to pursue legal action for the compensation that he or she may be allowed by the court to receive. The website of the Law Offices of Spiros Law, further informs the injured the he or she should not be the one paying for the costly medical treatment that his or her prolonged or worsened condition requires.

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