I’ve never been on a cruise. Sometimes we talk about taking one, hopping from island to island and relaxing on the open seas.
And then comes another round of norovirus outbreaks. Lots of news coverage, throwbacks to the poop cruises and pictures of the CDC Vessel Sanitation program officials boarding ships.
Restaurants are linked to 64 per cent of norovirus outbreaks. CDC says that cruise ships get a lot of the attention but onlyaccount for only about 1 per cent of norovirus outbreaks. But not everyone goes on a cruise. In 2013, according to the Florida-Carribean Cruise Association 11.7 million North Americans (out of a total of ~530 million residents) went on cruises.
It’s a numbers game: one per cent of the outbreaks happen in a setting that just two per cent of the population visit. Like Schaffner says, what’s the Crusies ?
But norovirus is everywhere. But being stuck on a ship with projectile vomiting doesn’t sound fun. According to the Guardian, two separate Royal Caribbean ships are experiencing outbreaks and are on their way back to San Diego.
Health officials are investigating what caused the outbreaks aboard the ships bound for California, both owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited. The ships docked on Monday and Tuesday in San Diego.
Celebrity Cruises reported 106 sick passengers on board the Celebrity Infinity, which arrived on Monday in California. The ill vacationers accounted for 5% of the 2,117 travelers on board. Six of the more than 900 crew members were also sick.
Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control are investigating the outbreak, and collected eight stool samples on board. Crews are tightening sanitation and disinfection procedures.
Crew members are planning a “staged disembarkation” to avoid exposing healthy passengers to sick ones, potentially contaminating them with the infectious stomach virus.