Did Spalding man catch Legionnaires’ Disease on cruise ship?

Anthony Maguire in hospital ANL-150508-100830001
Anthony Maguire in hospital ANL-150508-100830001
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A cruise ship passenger whose dream trip to Australia ended with him being hospitalised on an isolation ward for three days has asked travel lawyers for help with investigating the illness he suffered on board.

Anthony Maguire (71), from Spalding, embarked on a month-long cruise from Dubai to Australia with his wife on board the MSC Orchestra in February.

However, almost a week after boarding the cruise, he began to suffer with shortness of breath and coughing. As the cruise went on his symptoms worsened and he suffered with a high temperature, fever, a lack of appetite and also became lethargic.

Mr Maguire visited the on-board doctor after suffering further breathing problems. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough mixture.

However, when the cruise docked in Adelaide, he visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was admitted to the isolation ward for tests.

He was diagnosed with adenovirus and secondary bacterial pneumonia and spent three days in isolation in hospital. He was eventually cleared to fly to Perth to visit his sister.

Mr Maguire continued to suffer with symptoms upon his return to the UK and his GP believed that, as there was another passenger on the ship who had been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease, Mr Maguire may have suffered the same disease.

Mr Maguire has now asked expert travel illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate conditions on the ship after he reported that hand sanitiser standards were not enforced and that many other people were suffering with similar respiratory symptoms.

Jennifer Mullins, of Irwin Mitchell, said: “While it is too early to say what the cause of our client’s illness is, we have begun our own investigations into the conditions and hygiene standards on board the MSC Orchestra.

“The issues recounted to us by Anthony are worrying and we are concerned to hear of reports of other passengers on board who may have also been suffering with similar symptoms.

“The last thing Anthony expected when booking a luxury month-long cruise was to end up spending three days in an Australian hospital, rather than spending time with his sister and his family.

“As we conduct our investigations, we urge anyone else affected by illness on board the MSC Orchestra ship to come forward as they may be able to assist us with our investigations.”

Mr Maguire, a grandfather-of-six, said: “My wife and I were looking forward to a fantastic month-long cruise and a chance to visit my sister in Perth.

“We really felt let down by the conditions and hygiene standards on board the ship and feel that more could have been done to prevent people from suffering illness.

“I found it worrying that I was not made to have the health screening check prior to boarding the cruise and I wonder how many other passengers did not have this.

“Quite a lot of people were ill on the ship and the standards were not what we were expecting at all. The fact that I ended up spending three days in isolation in a hospital in Adelaide just added insult to injury.

“It was a terrifying experience to be ill, especially while on holiday on the other side of the world, both for myself and my wife, and the rest of my family.

“We now want to know what went wrong and why our holiday was ruined by this illness.”