Norovirus Strikes 13th Cruise Ship This Year

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A gastrointestinal virus has impacted over 100 people aboard Viking Neptune, making it the 13th cruise ship to face an outbreak this year.

According to a report filed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing norovirus as the causative agent, 110 of the ship’s 838 guests experienced Norovirus symptoms, including abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Exterior view of Viking Neptune
Exterior view of Viking Neptune (Rendering courtesy of Viking Cruises)

Additionally, nine crew members, or nearly two percent of the ship’s staff, reported similar symptoms.

The Viking Neptune cruise ship docked in New Jersey on June 20 after a voyage that began in Iceland on June 6, with stops in Greenland and Canada.

The CDC disclosed that the 13 outbreaks logged by the agency in the first half of 2023 have already exceeded the records of any year between 2017 and 2019.

Before the most recent incident, more than 300 people caught the virus on a Princess Cruise ship, followed by another outbreak that hit 177 people on a Celebrity Cruise ship earlier this month.

viking neptune float out italy
The exterior of Viking Neptune (Photo courtesy of Viking)

Viking Neptune‘s crew are now implementing more stringent cleaning and disinfection procedures “according to the ship’s outbreak prevention and response plan,” as well as sharing information on the cases with the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program twice daily.

Norovirus can spread quickly in cramped quarters, such as those found on cruise ships, and is typically circulated by someone not washing their hands after using the restroom.

The public health agency recommends that cruisers often wash their hands on cruise ships to flatten the curve of viruses and disease-causing bacteria.

Go Deeper: The Truth About Norovirus and Cruise Ships

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