Dream cruises turn sour as about one hundred passengers and crew get sick on two ships, on incidents reported just hours apart. The Celebrity Infinity and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Legend of the Seas have reported incidents of gastrointestinal sickness aboard. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at this unfortunate news.
The Celebrity Infinity was on a 15-night Panama Canal cruise which started on March 29th when 5 crew members and 95 out of 2,117 passengers experienced gastrointestinal sickness. Symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea. Initial suspicions pointed to norovirus as a cause, which is the usual suspect on onboard outbreaks. The Infinity reportedly went through norovirus incidents previously, in 2006 and 2013. This year alone, this is the 4th incident reported to the CDC, involving onboard gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships calling at an American port. The other afflicted ships were Norwegian Pearl, Celebrity Equinox, and Grandeur of the Seas.
Measures to mitigate the outbreak included extra cleaning and sanitation procedures on board the ship, and communication of hygienic hand practices to passengers. Many cruise lines already have procedures set up in response if such outbreaks occur.
The CDC is also involved, collecting specimens for testing and sending in an epidemiologist and an environmental health officer.
Shortly after the incident on the Infinity, Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, on a March 30th to April 14th voyage, reported 114 passengers and 2 crew members were also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. This latest incident brings this year’s reported cases up to five.
Gastrointestinal symptoms caused by norovirus can be spread by contaminated persons and from contaminated surfaces. Cruise ships are required to report gastrointestinal outbreaks involving 2% or more of those on board.
We at Kemplon Engineering hope for a speedy recovery for all those suffering from illness, and wish all cruise passengers good health and safe, sanitary conditions as they enjoy their travels.
^ “Hundreds Sickened on Multiple Cruise Ships.” 2News, 15 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.ktvn.com/story/28803453/hundreds-sickened-on-multiple-cruise-ships
^ Laursen, Wendy. “100 Sick on Celebrity Infinity.” The Maritime Executive, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/100-sick-on-celebrity-infinity
^ Laursen, Wendy. “Legend of the Seas Hit by Sickness.” The Maritime Executive, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/legend-of-the-seas-hit-by-sickness
^ Masek, Theresa Norton. “Two Cruise Ships Report Gastrointestinal Outbreaks.” Travel Pulse, 13 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.travelpulse.com/news/impacting-travel/two-cruise-ships-report-gastrointestinal-outbreaks.html
^ Thakkar, Emrys. “Almost A Hundred Passengers Sick Onboard Celebrity Cruise Ship.” Cruis Hive, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.cruisehive.com/almost-a-hundred-passengers-sick-onboard-celebrity-cruise-ship/6626
^ Walker, Jim. “GI Outbreak on the Celebrity Infinity.” Cruise Law News, 12 Apr 2015. Web. 19 Apr 2015. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2015/04/articles/norovirus/gi-outbreak-on-the-celebrity-infinity/
^ Image “Woman With Abdominal Pain” courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net