The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning about a new highly contagious strain of the norovirus bug, which is also commonly known as the “cruise ship bug.”  This bug often makes it undesirable presence felt during cruise ship journeys, bringing down crewmembers and passengers with symptoms including nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a new norovirus strain has now entered the United States, and was responsible for more than 50% of the outbreaks during the past few months.  Specifically, the GII.4 strain of the virus was responsible for half of the outbreaks in the last 4 months of 2012.

Out of the 266 norovirus outbreaks that were recorded between September and December of 2012, this particular strain of the bug was responsible for about 141 objects.  This strain of the bug emerged in Australia in March 2012, and from then, has traveled around the globe before finally entering the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is concerned about this new strain, and is monitoring it closely, to see if the strain is linked to more outbreaks and illnesses.

Norovirus outbreaks are especially dangerous in enclosed spaces like cruise ships, where the bug can spread very quickly, causing a massive outbreak of symptoms.  On a cruise ship, which can have thousands of passengers and hundreds of crewmembers in an enclosed space, these outbreaks are especially devastating.  Infections on a cruise ship can spread fast, especially when crewmembers with contaminated hands handle food and drink that is served to passengers.

Crewmembers on a cruise ship can apply for benefits under the Jones Act.  The Jones Act lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent injured cruise ship crewmembers, helping them recover the Jones Act benefits due to them.