by CHRYSTAL STASICKY Media Editor
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess cruise ship had over 170 people become ill with the norovirus.
The norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal sickness is commonly referred to as the stomach flu. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea all are symptoms of the norovirus.
The ship sailed from Los Angeles to Hawaii and Tahiti, returning to Los Angeles on Sunday. During the 28-day cruise, there was onboard rapid testing. At least 158 of 3,009 passengers and 14 of the 1,160 crew members tested positive for the virus. The total number of infected comes to 172 people.
Senior Emily Aguilar said, “I can’t believe so many people got sick. I mean for the virus to spread around like that and get that many people sick is crazy. I just hope that all these men, women or children will get better soon. It is really sad that their trip was ruined because of the virus.”
When members started to see increasing numbers of people getting the norovirus, the ship performed the disinfecting protocol that was set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The protocol took place in Los Angeles on Sunday. It includes a deep cleansing of the ship and the terminal before it sails out on its next trip.
The CDC confirmed that the ship underwent the protocol for sanitation in order to slow the spread of the norovirus. The Crown Princess’ cruise line also made an announcement to make passengers aware of the norovirus and how they can prevent getting it themselves. They encouraged hand hygiene and to report any cases of the norovirus. Passengers that were going to board the ship for the next trip were also supposed to be made aware of the situation.
The Crown Princess cruise ship is not the only one that has been affected by the norovirus.
During a week-long voyage in February, the Holland America cruise ship ms Veendam also experienced over a 100 individuals getting sick. To be exact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 114 passengers and 10 crew members had contracted the norovirus.
Twice a year, the CDC pays unexpected visits to cruise lines as a vessel sanitation inspection program. The ms Veendam received a grade of 77 out of 100. The CDC found multiple violations, which include brown liquid dripping onto clean dishes and a fly buzzing around the buffet. Any grade that is lower than an 85 is considered failing.
In January, two cruise ships in the Caribbean were hit with the norovirus outbreak as well. Over 600 individuals aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas fell ill with the virus, labeling it one of the biggest outbreaks on any cruise ship in the last 20 years.
The other ship is the Caribbean Princess, which is also operated by Princess’ Cruises. The cruise was cut short from its trip because 178 passengers and 11 crew members contracted the norovirus.
It is ironic that two ships from the same cruise line have both been stricken with the norovirus.
“Something must be wrong with the cruise line if this is the second ship that has been reported to have the norovirus. The CDC should really visit the cruise lines more than twice year. Preferably, before and after a ship travels the seas,” said senior Crystal Burge.
How do you feel about two ships from Princess’ Cruises being stricken with the norovirus?