Almost 300 People Struck By Norovirus On Cruise Ship

  • Almost 300 People Struck By Norovirus On Cruise Ship

Almost 300 People Struck By Norovirus On Cruise Ship

A Florida-based luxury cruise ship is sailing home early from a Caribbean voyage after almost 300 passengers were struck with a suspected norovirus.

The increase to 475 people comes a day after the company said 277 passengers on the Oasis of the Seas had initially fallen ill.

Royal Carribean International's Oasis of the Seas, which is on a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary, had to cut the trip short by a day.

The newspaper reports that the cruise ship, which is one of the largest ships in the world, departed Port Canaveral on Sunday.

"We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health", cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told the AP.

Florida Today states that passengers complained that those on the ship were not allowed off and that guests remained on board for several hours before finally leaving for the next destination, Cozumel.

"We left port there around 4 yesterday, started getting sick last night around 10".

"It was pretty upsetting that we weren't able to get into Jamaica at all", Perrin said.

"During this sailing, there has been a small percentage of guests onboard who have experienced gastrointestinal illness, thought to be norovirus".

Norovirus, a contagious virus characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, can spread through contaminated food and surfaces as well as person-to-person transmission, according to the CDC. Although it is highly transmissible, the illness is "relatively infrequent on cruise ships", the CDC states. It causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The $1.5 billion, award-winning Oasis of the Seas weighs 226,000 tons, is 1,184 feet long and can carry a maximum of 8,880 people, as per the ship's official web page. "From our balcony, we can see the rock-climbing wall", passenger Brenda Torres told WESH, "and after every user, they are actually hand-cleaning every single knob on the hand-climbing wall".

Nearly 500 people have now fallen ill after a norovirus outbreak on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship this week. "Our guests sail with us to have great vacations, and we are sorry this cruise fell short".