The norovirus outbreak which struck the April 16 sailing of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral continued over the weekend, the BBC reports. At least 252 of the 919 passengers, most of which are from the UK, onboard had the stomach virus, in addition to eight of the 520 crew, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told the BBC.
The ship, which left Southampton in the UK on April 16, had to ask seven guests to remain in their cabin when it docked in Norfolk, VA, Thursday, April 28. The ship continued to Baltimore on April 30 and May 1, where CDC experts boarded the ship to carry out tests on ill passengers, according to the BBC. The ship docked in Portland, Maine, this past Sunday, and is expected to arrive in Saint John, New Brunswick, Monday.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines told the BBC that norovirus cases were “particularly highlighted” on cruise ships due to passengers being in close confines, and that the cruise line was cooperating fully with maritime authorities.
Avoiding Norovirus During a Cruise
Past outbreaks of the stomach virus have prompted cruise lines to issue guidelines on how passengers can avoid contracting norovirus during a cruise.
According to a blog post by Royal Caribbean in 2012, travelers should:
Wash their hands- especially before eating or preparing food and after using the bathroom
Avoid shaking hands during an outbreak
Avoid preparing food for others for up to three days after falling ill
Wash laundry that may be contaminated with stool or vomit
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates to this developing story.