May 29, 2024

Norovirus on Cruise Ships Return After Pandemic

So far this year there has been one norovirus outbreak, and three other outbreaks with symptoms of norovirus on cruise ships, after the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted those vacations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Norovirus outbreaks are common on these ships, partly because of the enclosed spaces and partly because the highly contagious virus spreads easily in crowded conditions.

Norovirus on Cruise Ships Return After Pandemic

On the Arcadia, from P&O Cruises, 86 passengers and 20 crew members were sickened with norovirus out of 1,752 passengers and 815 crew members. In response to this outbreak, the crew increased cleaning and disinfection procedures, collected stool specimens from patients, and notified embarking guests about the situation.

Brilliance of the Seas, a ship from Royal Caribbean International, experienced an outbreak, with 70 passengers and 8 crew members sick. The symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea. The causative agent has not yet been identified.

An outbreak on Jewel of the Seas, part of the Royal Caribbean International Line, sickened 68 passengers and 1 crew member. Symptoms were, again, vomiting and diarrhea. Cleaning and disinfection was performed, and embarking guests were notified. The pathogen has not yet been identified.

Finally, an outbreak on Ruby Princess, part of Princess Cruises, sickened 284 passengers and 34 crew members. Vomiting and diarrhea were the symptoms, and the causative agent is unknown.

There are ways to protect yourself against illness if you choose to take a cruise vacation. If you are sick before you leave, report your illness and ask your doctor if it’s safe to cruise. If you get sick during your voyage, call the ship’s medical facility and follow their recommendations.

Wash your hands often; that’s the best way to prevent illness, especially from norovirus, since it can be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Finally, leave the area if you see someone get sick. Report it to the cruise staff. The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation program helps the industry control and prevent the spread of these illnesses aboard cruise ships.

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