Feedback Friday: Reporting Norovirus

January 24, 2014 | By | 1 Comment

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Every other Friday we will bring you a piece of reader feedback and our response. Have a question about cruising? Notice an error on our site? Want to just drop a comment for our consideration? Submit your own feedback by e-mailing, and maybe we’ll select your submission for our next Feedback Blog.
This Week’s Feedback:
“I didn’t see this article on cruise news. Can you confirm if this happened or if CNN was wrong? Why wouldn’t it be on your site?”

Our Response:
The incident this reader is referencing is a CNN report, from this past weekend, of a Norovirus outbreak onboard Royal Caribbean‘s Majesty of the Seas. The question is: If another media outlet reported it, why didn’t Cruise Critic?
With some exceptions, we only cover outbreaks that affect more than 8 to 10 percent of passengers and crew combined. Gastrointestinal illness (including Norovirus) is not uncommon on cruise ships, especially in the winter. It is the second most common illness after the common cold, in fact. The outbreak onboard Majesty affected 66 of 2,581 passengers, and two out of 844 crewmembers, bringing the percent of affected people to just about 2 percent.
The CDC website is another great resource to track gastrointestinal illness outbreaks onboard cruise ships. They report on outbreaks affecting 3 percent or more of passengers or crew. According to the CDC, Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks, and it causes 19 to 21 million illnesses annually.
The best way to prevent Norovirus at home, or on a cruise ship, is to practice regular hand washing.
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    One Response to “Feedback Friday: Reporting Norovirus”

    1. Pamela Alexander
      May 13th, 2015 @ 2:12 pm

      ++We+ were on Celebrity Infinity on the March 29-April 13, 2015 Norovirus outbreak. Both my husband and I were striken.
      I feel strongly that this information should be reported no matter what the percentage of passengers/crew striken.
      Despite the ‘low’ percentage of people affected, it takes a toll on the ‘cruise experience’ that we all pay for, i.e. despite the symptoms going away after 24 hours, I was still unable to eat or drink – I needed to continue a bland diet. Hardly made the cost of the cruise worth it since we were unable to partake in the amenities. In addition, my husband got sick a second time…when I was ‘isolated’ my husband was not and vice versa. Yet I was told that we were probably passing it back and forth to each other. Why weren’t we both isolated?
      We are NOT satisfied with the cruise industry response to this problem although we understand that cruise ship norovirus outbreaks is small in comparison to percentage of other outbreaks.

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    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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