A wild outbreak of gastroenteritis broke out on a cruise liner. Nearly 500 people were contaminated, forcing the Royal Caribbean company to shorten the trip.
Nightmare at Sea. Gastroenteritis has invited itself to the Oasis of the Seas, the third largest and most prestigious ocean liner in the world, which left Florida on Sunday for a dream holiday to Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico. A total of 475 passengers and crew members became ill, of whom a hundred were confined to their cabin.
A shortened dream trip
It all started on Wednesday when 170 passengers and a crew member became ill. The situation was such that the Jamaican authorities refused access to their island to the liner, which continued to sail towards the island of Cozumel, reports CNN. The next day, 250 people were reported to have the symptoms of gastroenteritis. The trip to Cozumel Island was finally canceled and the Royal Caribbean company decided to cut the trip back to Orlando one day early. “We think the best thing is to get everyone home earlier, rather than having clients worry about their health,” Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres said.
Desinfecting the liner
The ship docked in the United States on Saturday. The passengers were “sorted” by the port authorities. The company said it would refund the entire cruise to all passengers, sick or not, and that it would take charge of the hotel night from Saturday to Sunday for travelling passengers. “We are sorry for this unfortunate circumstance, we appreciate your understanding and hope you enjoyed the time you had on board,” the company apologized in a letter to all passengers.
The staff is now busy cleaning and disinfecting stair railing and all furniture on the ship to limit the spread of the virus. “Drastic measures are being taken to ensure that the ship is cleaned and disinfected before its next navigation,” the company said on Twitter.
How to protect yourself from gastroenteritis
One never know when an epidemic of gastroenteritis is going to strike. Some rules should however allow you to get through the cracks. The first, which seems logical but that we may tend to forget: wash your hands with soap very frequently, especially as soon as you come home, after taking transport, before eating and after going to the toilet. You should also avoid sharing your glass and cutlery at the table, regularly cleaning the surfaces touched by everyone in a house such as toilets, sinks or door handles!