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April 29th, 2013

Cruise Ship Crew Member Dies of Meningitis

An Indonesian cruise ship crewmember has been confirmed dead after an attack of meningitis on a cruise vessel.

The 32-year-old crewman had been hospitalized in a city in Italy, and had been undergoing treatment for his illness. He was a crew member on an MSC cruise vessel, the MSC Orchestra. At least 3 of his colleagues had also taken ill on the cruise ship. An Italian cook on the vessel who was also ill was earlier on life support, but his condition has since improved. A Brazilian crewmember and a 32-year-old Filipino man, who also contracted meningitis, have recovered.

All four crew members, including the deceased crewmember, were diagnosed with symptoms of meningococcal meningitis. This is a serious and deadly illness, which affects the spinal cord and brain. The disease can be extremely contagious. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness in the neck, joint pain, confusion, and disorientation. In case of severe meningitis, there may be reddish skin rash, seizures and blotchy skin.

None of the passengers on the cruise ship are believed have contracted meningitis. There were more than 3,000 passengers and crewmembers onboard the vessel at the time.  Antibiotic treatment had been administered to all the passengers and crewmembers in order to prevent a mass outbreak.

There are few environs that present such fertile conditions for the spread of infectious diseases as a cruise vessel. In the confined atmosphere of a ship, microorganisms and deadly pathogens can freely circulate, being inhaled by healthy crewmembers and passengers. That’s why illnesses and infections spread much more quickly on a cruise than they do on land.

The cruise ship injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent crew members and passengers who have been injured on a cruise ship.

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