Editorial: Taking a cruise? Report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates Norovirus should not be taken lightly » TCPalm.com
While the experience is pleasurable for the vast majority of passengers, an ocean adventure quickly can become a nightmare for those who contract the Norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal infection that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.
Most recently, it happened to 129 passengers and nine crew members aboard Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess, which sailed Feb. 26 from Fort Lauderdale on a seven-day cruise.
Most people recover from the Norovirus within one or two days. However, for those whose immune system already may be compromised, the Norovirus may present a serious threat to their health.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the Norovirus is the second-leading cause of death — behind Clostridium difficile — from gastrointestinal infections. In fact, the total number of U.S. deaths associated with gastrointestinal infections more than doubled in eight years — from 7,000 in 1999 to 17,000 in 2007, according to the CDC.