Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships are on the rise, with 13 outbreaks reported since the beginning of 2023. This is the highest number of outbreaks in a single year since 2012.
Norovirus Cruise Ship Outbreaks on the Rise
Norovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. It is spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or food, or through the air.
The outbreaks have occurred on cruise ships operated by Celebrity Cruises, Viking, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and P&O Cruises. In the most recent outbreak, 110 Viking Cruises passengers and eight crew members fell ill on a New York cruise.
The CDC has advised cruise lines to take steps to prevent the spread of norovirus, including:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection of surfaces
- Stricter handwashing protocols for passengers and crew
- Avoiding the sharing of food and drinks
If you are planning a cruise, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from norovirus:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid sharing food and drinks with others.
- If you become ill, stay in your cabin and contact the ship’s medical team.
Norovirus is a common illness, but it can be unpleasant and inconvenient. By taking steps to prevent the spread of norovirus, you can help to keep yourself and your fellow passengers healthy.
Here are some additional details about norovirus and why it is a problem on cruise ships:
- Norovirus is a very contagious virus. It can be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or food, or through the air.
- Symptoms of norovirus typically include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts for a few days, but it can be more severe in some people.
- Norovirus is not a serious illness for most people, but it can be dangerous for young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Cruise ships are often associated with norovirus outbreaks because of the enclosed spaces, close living quarters, communal dining, and high turnover of passengers.
- There is no specific treatment for norovirus, but there are steps you can take to relieve the symptoms, such as drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter medications.
If you are planning a cruise, it is important to be aware of the risk of norovirus and take steps to protect yourself. By following the tips above, you can help to reduce your chances of getting sick.