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Norovirus to Blame for Sick Cruise Ship Passengers

As mentioned before, cruises are typically meant to be relaxing vacations. For many it is the perfect getaway: a view of the ocean every day and the mobility to visit different destinations without having to do any driving.

But in some cases, offshore injuries can put a halt to a cruise ship vacation. Getting injured or contracting an illness can be worse if you are unable to reach a hospital or recover in the comfort of your own home. Last week, over 150 cruise passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise off the shore of Florida got really sick.

It is believed that the illness the passengers contracted was Norovirus. Norovirus is a contagious gastrointestinal virus and those who contract it exhibit flu-like symptoms. All of the sick passengers were treated onboard by health officials.

After docking back in Florida, the cruise that was scheduled to leave was delayed for several hours as crews worked to disinfect the ship. Crew members sanitized everything that passengers come into contact with. In order to prevent the virus from spreading even more, crews also removed community items like eating utensils.

The article does not go into detail about how the virus is spread. But it is generally known that the Norovirus spreads through hand-to-hand contact. On a cruise ship, passengers move around the ship; the likelihood of a virus spreading can be great. Hopefully cruise ships always take precautions to minimize the spread of viruses in the future.

Though getting sick is never a good experience, it seems that all the passengers who contracted the virus recovered and were in good spirits.

Source: AOL online, "Cruise Ship Gets Extra Cleaning After 153 Get Sick," Fran Golden, 10 January 2011

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