‘Possible’ norovirus strikes Royal Caribbean’s ‘Majesty of the Seas’, 68 passengers and crew sickened
More than five dozen passengers and crew on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas have been sickened with a gastrointestinal illness, according to a CBS 12 News report Friday.
The cruise ship docked in Miami Friday after a Caribbean journey that included port calls at Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida.
According to the cruise line, 66 of the more than 2,500 passengers and two of the more than 800 crew have experienced symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting with norovirus being the suspected culprit.
CNN reports, “The cruise line said passengers affected by the illness had responded well to over-the-counter medication administered on board the ship.
“The company said it enhanced cleaning on board the ship during the cruise to help prevent the spread of the illness.
“After the ship docked, the company said it “conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing on board the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the next sailing.”
The outbreak has not been reported on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) website.
According to the program, VSP may conduct an investigation if 3.0% of the ship’s passengers or crew members have GI illness, OR if an unusual GI illness pattern or characteristic is found (even if the illness rate is less than 3%).
Norovirus is a highly contagious illness caused by infection with a virus of the same name. It is often called by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. In general, childrenexperience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food andwater, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.
Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.
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