That’s not good news for those planning a cruise somewhere gorgeous this summer.
For the first time in more than a decade, the number of cases of the malicious norovirus on board the holiday ships has risen again.
The 13 outbreaks occurred on Celebrity Cruises, Viking Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and P&O Cruises.
The latest outbreak happened in June on a Viking Cruises ship from Iceland, which left 110 passengers and eight crew members ill.
Experts believe that a surge in cruise ship passengers over the past year is responsible for the increase.
Speaking to Today, Dr. Luis Ostrosky, Infectious Disease Specialist at UTHealth Houston: “I think our post-Covid travel frenzy is partly fueling this ongoing spread[of norovirus].”
Additionally, cruise ships are a “relatively easy” place for norovirus outbreaks, William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, told KCRA Sacramento.
Norovirus cases on board cruise ships steadily declined between 2006 and 2019, according to the CDC Data.
And from 2020 to 2021, when Covid travel restrictions were in place, there were no norovirus outbreaks on ships.
Norovirus can be very uncomfortable, but it usually goes away within a few days of symptoms appearing.
According to the NHS, if you suddenly experience nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea, it’s likely you’ve contracted norovirus.
The main symptoms are:
- nausea (nausea)
- nausea (vomiting)
- A high temperature
- Aching arms and legs
If you are still vomiting after two days or have diarrhea for more than seven days, you should call 111 for advice.
The same also applies to children.
And it’s important to watch for signs of dehydration, especially when they can’t be corrected by oral rehydration bags.
Call 999 if you or your child has blood in it, is green or yellow, or looks like ground coffee.
Signs such as a stiff neck, pain when looking into the light or a sudden onset of severe headache or abdominal pain also warrant a call to 999, according to the NHS.
Tips for a healthy holiday
It is very important that you report your illness if you feel ill before boarding a cruise.
You can ask your cruise line if there are alternative trips you could take.
Alternatively, you can speak to a doctor to find out if sailing is safe for you according to CDC guidelines.
If you feel ill during the voyage, let your ship’s medical facility know.
You should also wash your hands frequently to avoid exposure to disease-causing germs.
It is especially important that you do this after using the toilet and before eating.
Remember to use soap and water every time, as NHS says alcohol-based hand gel doesn’t kill norovirus.
It’s a good idea to leave the area if you see someone who is sick.
And most importantly, get rest and drink plenty of water.