Health

Food-borne norovirus sickens dozens of Royal Caribbean passengers

Sun., Jan. 19, 2014 9:56 AM EST
by Louvonia McClain

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66 passengers sickened on Royal Caribbean cruise

A Majesty of the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise carrying 2,581 guests and 844 crew members  docked in Miami after a beautiful trip to the Bahamas and other locations was ruined for 66 passengers and two crew members after they fell ill with what is believed to be a food-borne stomach virus that caused many to experience vomiting and diarrhea. The crew ramped up its cleaning schedule after becoming aware of the virus, and thoroughly sanitized the ship once passengers disembarked Friday, according to CNN.

“Norovirus is a very contagious virus,” according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. “You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.” It is a very uncomfortable gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

The Miami Herald reported one passenger’s experience with the illness: “I spent like the whole night on the toilet,” passenger Frank Weinger said. “It was terrible.”

The virus affects between 19 million and 21 million people each year with it being the most common cause of food-borne illness in the United States. It is also responsible for 570 to 800 deaths per year. The affected passengers have reportedly responded well to over-the-counter medication and no one so far has reported needing any further medical attention.

Travelers who were expected to board the ship after the incident were allowed to exchange their trip for another date if they felt uncomfortable.

 Photo credit: royalcaribbean.com

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