The Caribbean Princess, a cruise ship is returning to its original port of departure, Texas after a curtailed journey. The outbreak of the notorious norovirus led to a plague of gastrointestinal sickness among the tourists on board the ship.
Over 170 of the people were infected and emergency measures had to be taken while on the sea tour. This is a day after the Explorer of the Seas made a beeline back to New Jersey.
Over 600 of the travelers and staff were infected by the vicious stomach bug. It is a highly contagious GIT infection. And while it is common in humans, it does not spread among animals.
Earning its title from Norwalk, Ohio where its eruption was recorded for the first time, the norovirus currently causes 800 deaths in the United States per year. It is very easily transmitted from one person to another.
The merest touch from an infected surface to the eyes, mouth or nose may trigger symptoms. Then particles left behind in the air due to projectile vomiting or unhygienic toilet practices may also lead to transmission.
All the usual measures such as hand washing or even treatment of exposed areas with bleach prove useless against the virulent disease.
While the virus often haunts ships, it also finds a place to grow in areas where people are living in close quarters to each other. Thorough hygiene is the only prevention since there is no known cure.
The CEO of the cruise liner has promised that the people whose luxury tour aboard the ship was scrapped will get compensated. Their air fare too will get paid since many had to change their travelling plans due to the emergency.