The number of passengers hit with a gastrointestinal illness on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship has increased to nearly 500, a day after the company said 277 passengers on the Oasis of the Seas had initially fallen ill.
Passengers started feeling sick after the cruise ship departed from Port Canaveral in Florida on Sunday, reported NBC News.
The trip, now cut short, was set to sail for a week through the Caribbean. The Oasis of the Seas will dock back at Port Canaveral on Saturday. All of the passengers will get a refund due to the outbreak, reported NBC News.
Passengers were informed about the rising number of people affected on Friday. Passenger Shawn Popeleski told the Orlando Sentinel that they were told the outbreak is “most likely norovirus.”
Norovirus is considered “very contagious” by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. People contract norovirus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea, and although highly contagious, the CDC states the illness is “relatively infrequent on cruise ships.”
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