What Infections, Illnesses and Contamination Can Occur on a Cruise?

The most frequent cruise ship medical conditions are respiratory infections, gastrointestinal diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases, seasickness and slip-and-fall injuries. Most contagious conditions spread through contaminated food and drinks, inadequate sanitation and poor ventilation.

Cruise ship medical clinics deal with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. Approximately 3%–11% of conditions reported to cruise ship infirmaries are urgent or an emergency.

Other statistics related to cruise ship illnesses and contamination include:

  • approximately 95% of illnesses are treated or managed onboard;
  • 5% require evacuation and shore side consultation for medical, surgical, and dental problems;
  • approximately half of passengers who seek medical care are older than 65 years;
  • most (69%–88%) passenger dispensary visits are due to medical conditions, of which respiratory (19%–29%) and gastrointestinal (GI) (9%–10%) illnesses are the most frequently reported diagnoses;
  • approximately 10%–25% of passengers report seasickness, and injuries (typically from slips, trips, or falls) account for 12%–18% of medical visits.

The most frequently documented cruise ship outbreaks involve:

  • respiratory infections (influenza and Legionnaires’ disease);
  • GI infections (norovirus);
  • vaccine-preventable diseases other than influenza (rubella and chickenpox).

To reduce the risk of onboard introduction of communicable diseases by embarking passengers, ships may conduct pre-embarkation medical screening to identify ill passengers before boarding.

Among potential health dangers that can occur during a cruise, we can find food poisoning, Norovirus infection, Salmonella infection, etc. These types of diseases can have as a cause contaminated food and drinks, inadequate sanitation, poor ventilation, and others. Noroviruses are a group of viruses that affect the stomach and intestines causing gastroenteritis. The viruses spread through contaminated water and food and on cruise ships through physical contact. Symptoms include:

  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • abdominal cramps;
  • fever;
  • headache.

If you got sick de to the negligent acts of others on a cruise call our Miami based office today for legal representation.

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