Ebola may be the virus getting the most attention right now, but the norovirus continues to be a challenge for cruise ships. For the second time this year a Princess cruise ship has been hit by the virus.
When the cruise docked in California on Sunday, 14 crew members and 158 passengers had been suffering from the symptoms of the virus, which include those similar to the flu: diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Most people recover within 3 days.
Cruise ships can be a hotbed for the norovirus with so many people in such close quarters. And because it can take up to 2 weeks for symptoms to appear, it can be nearly impossible to tell if an infected person or contaminated food or drink caused an outbreak.
More than 3,000 passengers and 1,100 crew members were aboard the ship for the month-long cruise. The ship will have to be disinfected, the CDC said.
In January, a Princess Cruise ship docked early after 162 passengers and 11 crew members fell ill with the norovirus.
The worst outbreak of the norovirus was on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. In January of this year, a total of 626 passengers and crew members fell sick. However, Princess Cruises has had some of the most frequent outbreaks. According to Time, Princess has 5 of the 13 worst norovirus outbreaks.
Avoiding foods that are uncooked, such as raw fish or leafy greens, is one way to prevent getting sick. Washing your hands frequently and steering clear of public surfaces like toilets and door handles can also help.