Over 100 people who fell ill on a cruise ship this week are thought to be the victims of a norovirus outbreak.
The Vision of the Seas ship returned to Port Everglades, Florida this morning following an 11-day trip. During the journey, three crew members and 105 passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise became ill with a gastrointestinal illness thought to be a norovirus.
According to Cynthia Martinez, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean, individuals infected with the norovirus were given non-prescription medication with positive results.
Vision of the Seas, a vessel measuring 915 feet in length, was reportedly carrying 772 crew members and 1,991 passengers for this particular cruise.
The Royal Caribbean ship departed from Port Everglades on February 25, visiting destinations such as Barbados and Grenada. The cruise last docked on March 6 as part of a scheduled stop in Aruba.
When more than 100 became ill during the cruise, crew members reportedly took preemptive steps to contain the spread of the norovirus outbreak.
“At Royal Caribbean International we have high health standards for all our guests and crew,” the cruise company said in a statement. “During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning on board the ship, to help prevent the spread of the illness.”
Noroviruses are considered to be the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis, with roughly 300 million cases reported across the globe each year. The infection is typically spread from person-to-person contact.
Symptoms of the illness usually present as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and forceful vomiting. Low-grade fever, muscle aches, tiredness, cough and weakness are sometimes reported as secondary symptoms.
The Vision of the Seas cruise ship reportedly underwent extensive sanitation once it docked in Port Everglades this morning. In additional to the ship itself, Royal Caribbean conducted a thorough cleaning of the cruise terminal in an effort to prevent the norovirus from spreading to its next sailing.
The ship departed from Port Everglades on Friday afternoon for another scheduled cruise. Royal Caribbean reportedly assisted any passengers who were hesitant to board the ship in rescheduling their trip for another time.
At this time the origin of the norovirus outbreak that caused more than 100 to become ill on the cruise has not been determined.