Norovirus cruise ship docks at San Diego port

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norovirus1The Crown Princess made its normally scheduled stop in San Diego today, but the occasion was anything but normal. More than 60 paying customers and 17 crewmembers aboard the cruise ship have come down with a flu-like illness that is considered to be the norovirus.

Each of the ailing passengers have been confined to their quarters for their comfort and the safety of the rest of the people on board. Sanitation protocols established by the CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have been implemented in an attempt to stem the tide of the virus.

The cruise ship, part of the Princess Cruise line, embarked on a 7-day cruise, had left Los Angeles last Saturday. It was boarded by officials of the Santa Barbara County Health Office during its scheduled stop in Santa Barbara. Healthy passengers were allowed to leave the ship in Santa Barbara.

One of the most easily transmitted viruses, norovirus’ symptoms can include vomiting, general nausea and may lead to diarrhea and subsequent dehydration. The illness has been much in the news recently because it is suspected of having affected several different cruise ships in 2014. First, in January, upwards of 600 passengers on 3 different Caribbean cruises were victimized. The following month, more than 100 passenger and 10 members of the crew fell ill on the MS Veendam ship of the Holland America line.norovirus2

While norovirus has been known to occur away from the water, it is more easily diagnosed and studied in the isolated environment of a cruise ship. It also seems more likely to manifest at sea, due to the shared and cramped conditions, and possibly the issues of hygiene in places like the bathrooms and kitchens on a ship.

The Crown Princess will leave San Diego on Friday and is expected to end its cruise, as scheduled, on Saturday in Los Angeles.

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