Two San Diego Cruise Ships Report Sick Passengers
Cruise ship Norovirus-like symptoms having been affecting passengers sailing out of San Diego, California this past week. Celebrity Infinity and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Legend Of The seas both were affected with more than 3% of the cruise ship passengers sick with vomiting and diarrhea.
The epidemics were reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both cruise ships were on 14-day cruises, which accounts for growing numbers of increasingly sick passengers while the cruise ship keeps passengers at home.
Due to the extra added cost of medical care aboard cruise ships, which is not covered within the cost of the booked cruise, many passengers tend to nurse themselves along until they are very ill, instead of seeking medical care aboard the cruise ship in the earlier stages of the virus. Since it takes a cabin quarantine to help limit the spread, and quarantine is only ordered when medical attention is sought, the virus spreads quickly, affecting many who continue to roam the cruise ship freely.
Legend Of The Seas departed San Diego on March 30, 2015 and saw 114 of 1763 passengers (6.53%) sick with Norovirus symptoms with 2 of 747 crew (0.27%) also affected.
Celebrity Infinity departed San Diego on March 29, 2015 and had 106 of 2117 passengers (5.0%) sick with Norovirus-like symptoms with 6 of 964 crew (0.62%) also reporting sick.
We saw a similar incident back in 2012, with three cruise ships, Crown Princess, Celebrity Constellation and Ruby Princess all departing Ft. Lauderdale, Florida all having confirmed Norovirus outbreaks. The three ships had reported to the CDC an excessive amount of sick cruise ship passengers. An amount of passengers equal to 3% or more is CDC reportable.
When more than one cruise ship departs the same port and then experiences one or more cruises with an excessive amount of cruise ship passengers with Norovirus symptoms, yet an extremely low percentage of crew sick, numbers indicate that passengers brought the Norovirus aboard the cruise, some likely sick before they embarked.
Passengers who become sick right before debarking, who don't buy travel insurance, tend to travel sick as they don't want to lose money for the cost of the booked vacation.
The other reason for cruise ship epidemics may be from contaminated food being brought aboard from suppliers. In that case, we would expect to see a higher percentage of crew members also reporting ill.
Supporting Information & Resources:
Featured or New Cruise Ship Incidents