Celebrity Cruises is again reporting that at least 55 passengers have fallen ill on its Mercury cruise ship with norovirus-like symptoms.
In a prior article we questioned: Will the Celebrity Mercury Infect Another Round of Passengers?
Here We Go Again
A local news source in South Carolina, the Palmetto Scoop, reports on the latest cruise ship sickness in an article entitled "Sickness Again Plagues Charleston Cruise Ship:"
The crew of the Celebrity Cruises “Mercury” ship, which docks in Charleston, thought they had thoroughly sanitized the vessel after nearly one-quarter of the 1,800 travelers came down with a norovirus-like illness on their last voyage.
Turns out they didn’t do a very good job.
The Mercury ship set sail from Charleston on Saturday and within days, dozens of passengers became sick. As of Friday, 55 of the 1,880 travelers had fallen ill with the norovirus stomach bug.
Norovirus is a disease common to cruise ships because it is highly contagious and affects confined communities. The unpleasant disease usually runs its course after a day or two and spreads through food, water, or person-to-person contact.
Celebrity Cruises has based the Mercury in Charleston, South Carolina where officials have reported twice as many cases of norovirus as normal this winter. The Associated Press reports that the virus may have come aboard the cruise ship by passengers, crewmembers or infected supplies.
Celebrity Cruises is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises whose cruise ships have experienced a large number of norovirus cases this season.
Other Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Experiencing Widespread Illness
The Huffington Post reports that at least 310 passengers were sickened aboard Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. A spokeswoman for the Brazil’s National Agency for Sanitary Vigilance stated that the sickness was caused by "some kind of food poisoning aboard" the cruise ship. Earlier this week, Brazil ordered all 1,987 passengers and 765 crew members to remain on the ship anchored near Rio de Janeiro. The passengers were just recently permitted to leave the ship.
Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium cruise ships have also reported of a large number of ill cruise passengers. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 102 passengers and 14 crewmembers suffered gastrointestinal illness on the Jewel of the Seas, and 157 passengers and 23 crewmembers became ill on the Millennium.
You can track cruise norovirus cases via the CDC has a web page which tracks "Outbreak Updates for International Cruise Ships," although not all cruise illnesses are required to be reported to the CDC. For example, the recent outbreak of illness on the Vision of the Seas was not reported to the CDC.
For other information about norovirus on cruise ships, consider reading Cruise Ship Norovirus – Clean the Damn Toilets!
Video: WCSC (AP)