Gastro Outbreak Hits Luxury Cruise Ship

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a gastrointestinal viral outbreak that sickened several cruise ship guests earlier this week.

Silver Nova front view
Silver Nova (Photo courtesy of Doug Parker / Cruise Radio)

Twenty-eight guests on Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova, along with one crew member, fell ill. This represented over 4% of the passengers aboard (required for CDC reporting). 

Fourth cruise ship outbreak of the year

The CDC monitored the outbreak as the ship completed a 16-day sailing and docked at Port Everglades earlier this week.

The ship departed Peru and made several port calls in South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The CDC hasn’t confirmed this, although symptoms disclosed, like diarrhea, make Norovirus a possible cause. 

So far this year, three cruise ship outbreaks have been attributed to Norovirus: on Celebrity Constellation, Cunard’s Queen Victoria, and aboard Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam.

holland america koningsdam venice
Koningsdam in Venice, Italy in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Holland America)

The CDC said sick guests were isolated in their staterooms, and Silversea has implemented more stringent deep cleaning and disinfection measures.

The agency said the cruise line “made announcements of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage good hand hygiene.”

Silver Nova departed on Monday for a 20-night Panama Canal transit to San Francisco.

Silver Nova was christened in January 2024, and the CDC has yet to receive its bi-annual sanitation inspection from the Vessel Sanitation Program.

Last year, there were 14 cruise ship outbreaks, all but one of which were attributed to Norovirus. Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises each had three separate outbreaks.

The CDC said the Virgin Voyages‘ Scarlet Lady illness was caused by salmonella and E. coli.

The CDC says the Norovirus bug can be extremely contagious and is the leading cause of foodborne illness.

It generally spreads through contaminated food and water or by touching surfaces or other objects already contaminated by the virus.

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