Vision of the Seas Returns with Notovirus

Several news outlets reported that Royal Carribean’s Vision of the Seas ship returned from an 11-night Caribbean cruise with about 5% of its passengers suffering from the norovirus stomach illness.

One hundred five passengers and three crew members fell ill, the cruise line said, when the ship arrived at Port Everglades, Fla. There were 1,991 guests and 772 crew members on board.

So what’s norovirus? According to the CDC website , “Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.”

Because of the close quarters on a cruise ship, norovirus tends to spread quickly. Similar situations can happen in college dorms and in military quarters.

The last recorded outbreak on a cruise line was just 3 months ago, in December 2012, on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. The CDC reported 194 passengers and 11 crew reported fell ill during the voyage. The same month, there was a norovirus outbreak on another luxury cruise ship: The Emerald Princess. In that case, five percent of all passengers — 166, plus 30 crew — fell ill on the sailing.

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