British Tourists Taken Ill
Travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors have expressed concern after British holidaymakers were affected by an outbreak of gastric illness, allegedly caused by the ‘winter vomiting bug’ Norovirus, whilst cruising on the river Rhine in Germany earlier this week.
Just weeks after the Diamond Princess Cruise ship was quarantined in Shanghai when up to 400 passengers were affected by the same virus the Lady Anne Cruise ship, operated by Leicestershire Tour Operator The River Cruise Line, was quarantined in Boppard, West Germany when, it has been reported, more 100 passengers became ill.
In total it is understood that 20 passengers were hospitalised and that eight elderly British tourists are being kept in a German hospital. More than 20 other British passengers are understood to have been treated on board.
The Norovirus infection causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting and is potentially fatal in cases involving the elderly and young children, a particular concern as it is understood that the holiday makers on board the Lady Anne are all aged over 70.
Clive Garner, Head of Irwin Mitchell's International Travel Litigation Group, said: "There are clear protocols for handling outbreaks of this kind. It is very important that an outbreak is contained and that the risk of transmission is reduced as quickly as possible.
"Questions will need to be asked about when the first cases of illness occurred and whether all necessary steps were taken at the earliest opportunity in order to prevent the infection spreading to other passengers. If not, passengers have a right to know why, and they may be entitled to substantial damages if they have gone on to contract illness on board the Lady Anne. Based upon what we know so far and my experience of many other similar outbreaks, legal action by passengers is a real possibility."
Travel Litigation specialists Irwin Mitchell have won Millions of Pounds in compensation for British holidaymakers who have contracted Norovirus aboard cruise ships or in hotels overseas.