Man Dies From Food Allergic Reaction Aboard Cruise Ship


An unidentified man, 21, died onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic on Saturday, August 14, not long after the start of it’s seven-day Caribbean cruise trip. The young man whose name has not been released died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to food on a cruise ship.

The ship, Norwegian Epic, returned to the Port of Miami for a “medical disembarkation.”

Cruise ships says it was heart attack due to allergic reaction

According to the Cruise Critic, a company statement explains that a passenger onboard Norwegian Epic suffered a heart attack and passed away when the ship was approximately 40 miles from Miami. The “heart attack” is reported to be due to a fatal allergic reaction.

The proportion of people with food allergies is not known with precision, but it is estimated to be between 2% and 10%. Food allergies are more common in children than adults.

Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food triggered by your body's immune system. Allergic reactions to food can sometimes cause serious illness and death. Tree nuts and peanuts are the leading causes of deadly allergic reactions called anaphylaxis.

In adults, the foods that most often trigger allergic reactions include

  1. Fish and shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster and crab
  2. Peanuts
  3. Tree nuts, such as walnuts
  4. Eggs


Problem foods for children are eggs, milk (especially in infants and young children) and peanuts.

Management of food allergies includes avoidance of the specific foods identified by clinical evaluation and allergy testing. It should also include an emergency treatment plan in the event of accidental exposure or ingestion.

An Epi-pen should be carried with the food-allergic person at all times. The individual, family, and friends should be taught how and when to use the Epi-pen.

Antihistamines (medications that block histamine effects) are not a substitute for an Epi-pen. After using an Epi-pen, the individual should go to a hospital for evaluation and observation.

Consider wearing medical alert jewelry with your allergy listed. Many children outgrow allergies to milk and eggs, but severe allergies to foods like peanuts, some fish, and shrimp can last a lifetime.

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Miami Herald
Cruise Critic
National Institute of Health