New Health Crisis Is Spreading Among Cruise Ships

Some American tourists are having a rough go of it because instances of Norovirus, a highly infectious gastrointestinal virus, have reached their highest proportions in a decade.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 13 confirmed cases of Norovirus on cruise liners so far in 2018. 

It’s already more than halfway through the year, and this is already the worst Norovirus outbreak on these ships since the start of the year.

Despite increased travel after the 2022 COVID-19 epidemic, just four new cases were reported that year. According to the CDC, 235 passengers and staff members were infected with the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe Norovirus as a highly contagious virus that leads to stomach and intestinal irritation. Norovirus, also known as a “stomach bug,” is the leading cause of stomach-related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

The most recent illness attack happened on the Viking Neptune. According to the CDC, more than one hundred cruisegoers, or about 13% of the passengers, became sick.

Viking Cruises had stated that the latest outbreak aboard their ship started when a group of guests dined at a shoreside restaurant in Iceland. 

Nearly 1,700 guests and over 240 staff members were ill among the 13 outbreaks on cruise ships that stopped in the United States. 

The Norovirus also affected celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and P&O Cruises. 

When two percent or more of a ship’s passengers or crew seek medical attention for symptoms of gastrointestinal sickness, the CDC is notified of an epidemic. Within 15 days of docking in a U.S. port, ships must report the onset of disease. There must be more than 100 people, and the voyage duration must be between three and twenty-one days for an outbreak to be documented. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises taking precautions against the transmission of the virus, including washing hands often, sanitizing surfaces with bleach, properly preparing food, and washing clothing in hot water.