Outbreaks of the norovirus occur again and again on cruise ships
Hundreds of passengers on a British cruise ship named "Balmoral" have been infected with the norovirus. The ship left Southampton last month and since then at least 252 passengers and eight crew members have contracted the virus.
Most people take a cruise to relax, have a great time, and see a little more of the world. Certainly, nobody wants an unpleasant gastrointestinal illness on a cruise. However, an outbreak of norovirus infections has now occurred on the British cruise ship. Over 250 people on board the "Balmoral" are already ill, reports the British magazine "The Independent". And that was not the first such incident.
Already several similar outbreaks on the same ship
The British cruise ship “Balmoral” has the motto: From Old England to New England. The ship is currently on its way to the Canadian province of Brunswick, employees told the “Independent”. Before that, however, the entire ship had to undergo an inspection by the US Health Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the owners of the ship “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ”quoted by the newspaper. The company announced in a statement that the "Balmoral" had left the United States and was on its way to New Brunswick.
The ship was never quarantined in any port on the voyage and the voyage will continue as planned, the owners add, according to the Independent. The company claims that it has already taken extensive sanitary measures to clean the entire ship. Here, employees would follow a strict plan to contain and prevent diseases. The "Balmoral" is a ship that mainly carries British holidaymakers. Similar outbreaks have occurred in previous years.
Noroviruses often occur where many people are in a confined space
The noroviruses were found in Baltimore last week while the ship was docked there. A team of CDC experts assessed the situation and then assessed the outbreak. Despite measures by the CDC and increased cleaning and disinfection procedures, the number of cases later increased to more than a quarter of all people on board, reports the magazine "Independent". The highly contagious gastrointestinal disease was brought on board by holidaymakers and transmitted there via direct contact or indirect contact via surfaces, the company employees explain.
Hotels, schools, hospitals and cruise ships are often involved in outbreaks of the disease because of the high volume of people in a confined space. Already in 2010 at least 310 people on board the "Balmoral" suffered from vomiting, which was caused by a virus. Another confirmed outbreak was observed in 2009, this time more than 100 people were affected, writes the Independent. The Fred company. According to the newspaper, Olsen said that it fully cooperated with all necessary maritime institutions and authorities. Every effort will continue to be made to ensure the safety and well-being of all guests and team members, the company added.
What is the norovirus?
The norovirus is particularly often responsible for unpleasant gastrointestinal infections. The sufferers can then suffer, for example, from violent, uncontrolled vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. The symptoms are typical of the norovirus. The risk of infection from the viruses is very high and targeted treatment is important to counteract the fluid loss that occurs. The viruses are spread all over the world and can be counted among the most common pathogens of non-bacterial gastrointestinal diseases in adults and children, the experts explain. The disease is particularly common in people over 70 and children under 5. The occurrence of the disease on cruise ships had already been established many times before. (as)