A leading law firm in Britain now says that there has been a very high increase in the number of reported cases of norovirus this week when compared to the last five years. Specialist in traveling litigation Irwin Mitchell said that hotels and cruise lines often fail to notify new arrivals about the gastric illness. Many of these same companies do not react quickly enough when an outbreak occurs due to the fact that they are afraid that it will cause a furry of cancellations.

Right now there are very strict guidelines in place to deal with such outbreaks. Such things like closing buffets and isolating affected people and staff. However, some say that too often these guidelines do not get followed, causing breakouts to affect many more people than what they should.

Just this past week, passengers on board a Fred Olsen ship, the Boudicca, were struck down by a big outbreak of norovirus. This outbreak struck on a 21 night cruise of the Adriatic. This outbreak also came just one month after another cruise line’s ships were hit by the same virus.

In November of 2008, there were several British passengers that were affected by a virulent gastric bug while on a Princess Cruises’ ship in the Far East. These passengers threatened to take legal action against the cruse line. The passengers went on to claim that the ship, in no way, was prepared for the norovirus outbreak and not enough was done to prevent the spread of the outbreak.

The Passenger Shipping Association, also known as the PSA, maintains that all its cruse lines place great importance on the health and the safety of every passenger on board. They point out that cruise lines work very closely with the Health Protection Agency on ways to prevent and identify norovirus.

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