MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The “season” for norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness, has arrived in South Florida. Norovirus outbreaks can occur throughout the year. But, more than 80% of the outbreaks occur from November to April according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A “sick ship” arrived at Port Miami, Friday, but the Majesty of the Seas was quickly sanitized and sent back out to sea according to Royal Caribbean officials.
A press release stated 66 of 2,581 guests and 2 of 84 crew members experienced the illness that was thought to be norovirus.
The ship had just completed a 4-night Caribbean cruise that included Nassau, CocoCay, The Bahamas and Key West.
Royal Caribbean reports enhanced cleaning took place onboard the ship, to help prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, when Majesty of the Seas arrived to Port Miami, an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal was conducted to help prevent any illness from affecting the next sailing.
Each year, the CDC reports norovirus causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. It is also considered the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.
The CDC reported that in 2012, a new strain of norovirus was detected and impacted many countries. The GII.4 Sydney strain is considered the current leading cause of norovirus outbreaks in the United States.
Symptoms of norovirus include:
Other symptoms include:
The CDC recommends:
Washing hands often
Rinsing fruits and vegetables
Cooking shellfish thoroughly
Cleaning surfaces and washing laundry
And if you are sick, don’t prepare food or care for others to prevent them from getting sick too
For more information about norovirus, click here.