Posts tagged ‘norovirus’
One hundred and five passengers and three crew members fell ill on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship the “Vision of the Seas.” (AP Photo)
A Royal Caribbean cruise ship has returned to port with more than 100 passengers sickened by a stomach illness thought to be norovirus.
Vision of the Seas returned to Port Everglades, Fla., after an 11-night Caribbean cruise. One hundred five passengers and three crew members fell ill, the cruise line said. There were 1,991 guests and 772 crew members on board.
The ship returned as scheduled and ill passengers responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered on board the ship, Royal Caribbean International said.
The Centers for Disease Control, which tracks norovirus outbreaks on its website, did not yet have a record of the incident.
In a statement to ABC News, the cruise line said, “At Royal Caribbean International, we have high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning on board the ship to help prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, when Vision of the Seas arrived to Port Everglades, Fla., today, we conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing.”
Vision of the Seas just concluded an 11-night Caribbean sailing that included port calls to Basseterre, St. Kitts; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; St. George’s, Grenada; Kraledijk, Bonaire; and Oranjestad, Aruba.
According to the CDC website , “Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.”
Because of the close quarters on a cruise ship, norovirus tends to spread quickly.
The ship was scheduled to depart on its next voyage late Friday afternoon. In an email to passengers scheduled to depart on today’s Vision of the Seas cruise, the cruise line said, “We will conduct enhanced sanitizing onboard the ship and within the terminal to help prevent any illness from affecting your cruise.”
The last recorded outbreak on a cruise line was in December 2012 onCunard’s Queen Mary 2. The CDC reported 194 passengers and 11 crew reported fell ill during the voyage. The same month, there was a norovirus outbreak on another luxury cruise ship: The Emerald Princess. In that case, five percent of all passengers — 166, plus 30 crew — fell ill on the sailing.
Winter vomiting bug has been the cause of more than 1,000 hospital ward closures since 2009, according to Scottish government figures.
The Liberal Democrats obtained the statistics to draw attention to the strain put on the NHS by norovirus.
The party’s health spokeswoman Alison McInnes called for the bug to be given the same attention as MRSA and C.diff.
The Scottish government said the number of cases has been falling over the last three years.
Norovirus causes winter vomiting disease.
The virus lives in the gut and is passed from person to person by poor hygiene after going to the toilet. It can also be spread when someone is sick.
Patients with the bug are treated in wards closed to new admissions until the sickness passes.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recorded the most occasions when wards had to be closed, at 333 since 2009.
There were 231 in Lothian, 108 in Grampian, 91 in Ayrshire and Arran, 66 in Tayside, 64 in Fife and 56 in Highland.
Forth Valley recorded 45 closures, while there were 52 in Lanarkshire and 18 each in Borders and in Dumfries and Galloway.
There were no closures in Shetland and three closures in Orkney and in the Western Isles.
Ms McInnes said: said: “The closure of wards is the right response to contain an outbreak of norovirus, but with non-urgent surgeries being cancelled because of closures the knock-on effects have a real impact on patients and the efficient running of our health service.
“It is vital that we reduce the number of outbreaks of the infection, which can be life-threatening to the vulnerable groups like our growing elderly population.”
She added: “The Scottish government should ensure that people understand the highly infectious nature of the norovirus and give it the same attention as MRSA or C.diff.
“Only then will we be able to reduce ward closures across Scotland.”
A government spokeswoman said significant work had been done to reduce cases as part of its Ready for Winter campaign.
She added: “However, norovirus is a highly contagious virus which can be challenging to control in even the cleanest of environments and closing wards to new admissions is one of the most effective ways of preventing spread further within a hospital.”
Read More: BBC