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70 passengers on luxury Celebrity Cruises voyage to Alaska fall sick with norovirus

Symptoms reported by passengers and crew aboard the Celebrity Summit cruise ship were vomiting and diarrhea

Graig Graziosi
Friday 07 June 2024 10:47 BST
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Roughly 70 passengers on a Celebrity Cruises vessel contracted norovirus while on a recent trip to Alaska, health officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that 68 of the 2,264 guests aboard the Celebrity Summit fell ill during their cruise, which finished its voyage on Friday. Five crew members were also listed among the ill.

The main symptoms reported by the sick passengers and crew were vomiting and diarrhea.

Infected guests and crew were required to be isolated and provided biological samples for testing, the CDC reported.

“Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone can get infected and sick with Norovirus,” the CDC states on its website. “Norovirus is sometimes called the ‘stomach flu’ or ‘stomach bug.’ However, norovirus illness is not related to the flu, which is caused by influenza virus.”

Nearly 70 of the 2,264 guests aboard the Celebrity Summit cruise ship fell ill with norovirus during a recent cruise
Nearly 70 of the 2,264 guests aboard the Celebrity Summit cruise ship fell ill with norovirus during a recent cruise (Celebrity Cruises)

After dropping passengers off on Friday, the ship began a week-long Alaska trip between Vancouver and Seward, according to USA TODAY.

A spokesman for Royal Caribbean Group, which owns Celebrity, said the Summit was sanitized and that none of the passengers who fell ill are on the ship's current journey.

This is the second time this year that a norovirus outbreak occurred on a Celebrity cruise ship. In January, nearly 100 guests on the Celebrity Constellation fell ill with the virus.

In April, approximately 67 of the 1,933 passengers on Royal Caribbean International's Radiance of the Seas fell ill to norovirus, the New York Post reports. That same month, another 94 of the 2,532 passengers on Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess contracted norovirus.

The CDC has logged seven outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses on cruises this year significant enough to trigger its threshold for public notification. In all but one of the outbreaks the cause of the illnesses was the norovirus.

While norovirus does represent the cause of many cruise ship outbreaks, cruises are not disproportionately prone to the virus.

The majority of norovirus infections — 62 percent — are contracted in healthcare facilities. Approximately 20 million people who are not on cruise ships contract the virus every year, according to the CDC.

The virus can spread anywhere where people tend to congregate, whether that be a cruise ship or a restaurant or hospital.

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