IT’S not good news for those who are planning on cruising somewhere glorious this summer.
Turns out cases of nasty norovirus, aboard the holiday ships have spiked for the first time in over a decade.
The 13 outbreaks happened on Celebrity Cruises, Viking Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and P&O Cruises.
The most recent breakout took place in June on a Viking Cruises ship from Iceland which left 110 passengers and eight crew members unwell.
Experts believe an increase in cruise passengers over the last year are to blame for the surge.
Speaking to Today, Dr Luis Ostrosky, an infectious disease specialist at UTHealth Houston, said: “I think our travel frenzy after Covid is partially fuelilng this continued spread (of norovirus).”
On top of that, cruise ships are “relatively easy” place for norovirus outbreaks to occur, William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, told KCRA Sacramento.
Norovirus cases aboard cruise ships were on a steady decline between 2006 and 2019, according to CDC data.
And from 2020 to 2021 when Covid travel restrictions were in place there were no norovirus outbreaks on ships.
Norovirus symptoms to know
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up with a couple days of symptoms starting.
The main symptoms are:
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Being sick (vomiting)
- A high temperature
- A headache
- Aching arms and legs
You should get advice by ringing 111 if you are still throwing up after two days, or having diarrhoea for more than seven days – the same goes for children.
And it is important to keep out for dehydration signs, especially if this isn’t fixed with oral rehydration sachets.
Call 999 if you or your child’s sick has blood in it, is green or yellow or looks like ground coffee.
Signs like a stiff neck, pain when looking at lights or a sudden severe headache or stomach ache also warrant calling 999, the NHS says.
Tips for healthy holidaying
It’s very important that you report your illness if you’re feeling sick before boarding a cruise.
You can ask your cruise line if they have any alternative trips you could take, alternatively, speak to a doctor to find out whether it is safe for you to sail, according to CDC guidance.
If you feel sick while travelling, let your ship’s medical facility know.
You should also wash your hands often to avoid exposing yourself to germs that could cause illness. It’s especially important you do so after using the loo and before eating.
Remember to use soap and water each time, as alcohol hand gel doesn’t kill the norovirus, according to the NHS.
It’s best practice to leave the area if you see someone being sick.
And most importantly, rest and drink lots of water.