A gastrointestinal outbreak on the Oceania Marina has been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
69 passengers reported being ill with nausea and vomiting during the last cruise. 11 crew members reported being sick.
This is the 8th gastrointestinal illness outbreak in just the first 5 months of this year.
Last year there were 9 outbreaks in all of 2014. In the last two years, Princess and Royal Caribbean have been the leaders with the most sick ships.
According to a newspaper in Hawaii, the outbreak was determined to be norovirus and “a spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said a total of about 100 passengers were affected by the virus over several days.”
The Eternal Debate: After each outbreak, the armchair quarterbacks debate how the norovirus outbreak occurred. On one side is the cruise industry and cruise line employees who always blame the passengers. “Those dirty passengers with their filthy fingers” they say “waddling up to the buffet after using the toilet and not washing their hands.” But where is the scientific analysis by the epidemiology experts?
The CDC doesn’t even try to figure causation out and the cruise line don’t want the scientists to figure it out. God forbid that the experts blame the outbreak on contaminated cruise line water or food, or dirty surfaces laden with norovirus particles, or a cook or waiter working while ill with acute GI or inadequate cleaning or air contamination.
In 2013, ABC News published an interesting article titled Norovirus: Why washing your hands isn’t enough. Here’s a portion of the article:
“It gets in your food, in your laundry, it sticks to plates and it might even float into the air when you flush your toilet . . . .”
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Photo Credit: “Ms Marina Martinique” by Jordandkatz CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons