300 People Hit With Unknown Illness, Leading to CDC Investigation

300 People Hit With Unknown Illness, Leading to CDC Investigation

(RightWing.org) – The CDC is investigating an outbreak of a mystery illness on board a cruise ship. Over 300 passengers have come down with an unidentified disease. The most likely culprit is norovirus.

On February 26, the Princess Cruise line’s Ruby Princess, a 113,000-ton ship that can carry up to 3,080 passengers and 1,200 crew, set sail from Galveston, Texas, on a seven-day cruise that takes in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. Just after the ship sailed, however, passengers started getting sick. By the time the liner returned to Galveston on March 4, 284 passengers and 34 crew were suffering from vomiting and diarrhea. Princess Cruises implemented extra cleaning routines to reduce infections and disinfected the ship before it set off with a new load of passengers on March 5.

The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) is now investigating the outbreak; in a statement, the agency said a VSP probe is triggered when more than 3% of the people on a ship show symptoms of gastrointestinal illness. So far, they haven’t identified the cause of the Ruby Princess illness, but Princess Cruises says the most likely culprit is norovirus.

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis, with symptoms including stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. It’s also called “winter vomiting disease” because it’s most common around this time of year, and — significantly — the “cruise ship virus” because outbreaks on ships tend to get a lot of publicity. but . They also tend to spread fast because the conditions on cruise liners are ideal for spreading the disease. However, cruise ship passengers account for only about 1% of all reported norovirus cases.

Although the virus is usually not serious, and the standard treatment is just rest and fluids, it can be fatal. Of an estimated 685 million cases worldwide every year, around 200,000 people die. Happily, it seems all the Ruby Princess’s passengers and crew have survived this outbreak.

Copyright 2023, RightWing.org