More than 150 passengers fell sick following norovirus outbreaks on US cruise ships in April

There have been six norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships so far this year, says the CDC

Natalie Wilson
Monday 29 April 2024 10:17 BST
Nearly 100 people fell sick on a Princess Cruises voyage this month
Nearly 100 people fell sick on a Princess Cruises voyage this month (Getty Images)
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More than 150 passengers on board US cruises ships suffered diarrhoea and vomiting in two separate norovirus outbreaks in April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The health agency said that 94 of 2,532 passengers on a Princess Cruises ship and 67 of 1,993 passengers onboard a Royal Caribbean ship reported sickness during voyages this month.

Diarrhoea and vomiting were the predominant symptoms reported during each of the outbreaks.

Alongside the 161 struck passengers, 20 crew members on Sapphire Princess and two on Radiance of the Seas also suffered from norovirus symptoms.

The Princess Cruise voyage departed Los Angeles for a month-long round trip to Hawaii and the South Pacific islands on 5 April, while the cruise operated by Royal Caribbean started its two-week trip from Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles via South America on 8 April.

Both ships implemented “increased cleaning and disinfection procedures” and isolated ill passengers and crew, reported the CDC.

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises said in a statement: “Onboard the most current sailing of Sapphire Princess, there have been a small number of cases of mild gastrointestinal illness among passengers, the cause likely is the common but contagious virus called Norovirus.

“At the first sign of an increase in the numbers of passengers reporting to the medical center with gastrointestinal illness, we immediately initiated additional enhanced sanitization procedures to interrupt the person-to-person spread of this virus.

“Our sanitization program, includes disinfection measures, isolation of ill passengers and communication to passengers about steps they can take to stay well while onboard.”

The Independent has contacted Royal Caribbean for comment.

Six outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships have been logged by the CDC so far this year. The agency recommends washing your hands and hydrating for “healthy cruising”.

The outbreaks come after 28 passengers onboard Silver Nova, operated by Silversea Cruises, were struck down by norovirus earlier this month.

In the UK, 116 people on a cruise holiday with Cunard suffered some form of gastrointestinal illness on board a Queen Victoria ship from Southampton in January.

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