Home Travel Health CDC Announces Drop In Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships


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PHOTO: Norovirus positive blood tube. (photo via jarun011 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Cruise passengers have reason to be happy as a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed only 10 ships reported major outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses in 2018.

According to CruiseRadio.net, a total of 547 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses were reported in 2018, which is less than half the number of instances announced in 2017. A cruise line is required to report an outbreak to the CDC if over three percent of passengers become sick.

The 2018 report revealed Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow had a higher than average percentage of passengers falling ill during a May outbreak with 8.56 percent, totaling only 28 passengers out of the 326 sailing.

Other ships with reported outbreaks in 2018include Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony, Holland America Group’s Volendam, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Infinity and Princess Cruises’ Island Princess.

The CDC also revealed that despite the widespread reports of norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships, the illnesses are reported far more often on land. The difference is that people aren’t confined to a small space for days as they are on a vessel.

“Currently, state, local and territorial health departments are not required to report individual cases of norovirus illness to a national surveillance system,” the CDC said in a statement. “As a result, the virus is usually diagnosed only when an outbreak happens.”

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