Norovirus outbreak sickens 277 on Jamaica-bound cruise ship

Marco Green
January 11, 2019

The last gastrointestinal outbreak on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship to have been reported on the CDC portal occurred in December of 2017 when 310 of 4,160 of guests and 22 of 1,398 crew members became ill with norovirus on the Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean has said passengers on board will be given full refunds of their fares. It sailed from there Sunday on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.

Passengers took to social media on Wednesday, tweeting they were forced to stay onboard the cruise ship after docking in Falmouth, Jamaica, on Wednesday for what was supposed to be a day of excursions.

Ending the cruise early will provide "more time to completely clean and sanitise the ship" before it sets off on another voyage with new passengers, Mr Torres said. Oasis will miss the Mexico stop.

Norovirus, which most commonly causes vomiting and diarrhea, is spread through contaminated food, surfaces and through contact with people who have it.

'We docked in Foulmouth, Jamaica, yesterday and weren't allowed off the boat because of the outbreak.

Shawn Popeleski, a 19-year-old from Vermont sailing on Oasis, told the Orlando Sentinel that he and his family were notified via a letter on Wednesday that there was norovirus onboard.

"We are bringing additional medical staff on board and we're engaging in intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues", a statement from Royal Caribbean said.

Cruise ships visiting US Ports must declare to the CDC any outbreak of gastro affecting over 3 per cent of their passengers.

"They are held to a standard that, frankly, not everyone else is held to", said Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of Cruise Critic, a popular cruise review website.

Although this outbreak may seem sensationally large, it is actually proportionate for a gastrointestinal infection on a cruise ship. 'I see you'll be boarding on Sunday, but no need to worry. The figure has decreased since 2012, when a novel strain of norovirus emerged, causing a spike in the number of outbreaks.

"People are still getting sick", he told ABC News. "Anything beats the cold weather in Vermont".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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