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Over 300 Fall Sick on Princess Cruise Ship

Ruby Princess

More than 300 passengers and cruise members aboard a Ruby Princess cruise ship voyage have fallen ill, announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

284 of 2881 passengers and 34 of 1159 crew members became ill. After their initial investigation, predominant symptoms among the ill were discovered to include vomiting and diarrhea.

The cruise ship departed Galveston on February 26 for a cruise in the Caribbean and returned to Galveston.



The CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program epidemiologists and environmental health officers responded to the ship when it docked in Galveston, Texas on March 5, the agency said. They have not yet determined what caused the illnesses. 

According to reports in the national media, Princess Cruises believes that the cause of the illness was most likely Norovirus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, close living quarters found on cruise ships increase the potential for the illness.

In response to the outbreak, Princess Cruises disinfected high-touch surfaces like railings, door handles, and elevator buttons and encouraged sickened passengers to isolate in their cabins.

Each year millions of U.S. citizens enjoy cruise vacations. In 2016, approximately 11.5 million passengers embarked from North American ports for their cruise vacation (from Cruise Lines International Association). Traveling on cruise ships exposes people to new environments and high volumes of people, including other travelers. This exposure can create the risk for illness from contaminated food, or water or, more commonly, through person-to-person contact.

CDC recommends the following tips for healthy cruising:

CDC healthy cruising

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