Over 150 Passengers Ill Due to Norovirus Outbreaks on US Cruise Ships in April: A Major Health Scare

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Over 150 travelers on U.S. cruise ships experienced vomiting and diarrhea in two distinct norovirus outbreaks in April, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The agency noted that 94 of 2,532 passengers on a Princess Cruises vessel and 67 of 1,993 passengers on a Royal Caribbean ship fell ill during their voyages this month.

The main symptoms observed in both outbreaks were diarrhea and vomiting.

In addition to the 161 affected passengers, 20 crew members on the Sapphire Princess and two on the Radiance of the Seas also exhibited symptoms of norovirus.

The Princess Cruises ship set sail from Los Angeles on a month-long journey to Hawaii and the South Pacific islands on April 5, while the Royal Caribbean cruise embarked on a two-week journey from Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles via South America on April 8.

Both vessels enforced “enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols” and quarantined sick passengers and crew, according to the CDC.

A representative for Princess Cruises stated: “On the most recent voyage of Sapphire Princess, a small number of passengers experienced mild gastrointestinal sickness, likely caused by the highly infectious Norovirus.

“Upon noticing an uptick in passengers visiting the medical center with gastrointestinal symptoms, we promptly escalated our cleaning processes to curb the virus’s spread person-to-person.

“Our sanitation plan involves disinfecting, isolating affected passengers, and informing all passengers about preventive measures to maintain health onboard.”

The Independent has reached out to Royal Caribbean for a statement.

The CDC has recorded six outbreaks of gastrointestinal sickness on cruise ships so far this year, recommending hand washing and hydration as part of “healthy cruising” practices.

Earlier this month, 28 passengers on the Silver Nova, operated by Silversea Cruises, were also affected by a norovirus outbreak.

In the UK, 116 passengers on a Cunard cruise aboard the Queen Victoria from Southampton in January reported gastrointestinal illnesses.

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