In Fort Everglades, Florida, 2 cruise ships (of Princess Cruises) were forced to return to port after experiencing gastrointestinal sickness outbreaks among passengers and staff. The Crown Princess had nearly 150 sick people aboard when it returned to port, and the Ruby Princess had 92 infected passengers and 13 infected crew members.
A spokesperson for the cruise line said that the two outbreaks were unrelated, but let's be honest: the food may have very well been contaminated. Proper steps were taken once reports of gastrointestinal illness became common: disinfection of surfaces (railings, door handles, elevator buttons), encouraged hand-washing, and placement of hand sanitizer around the ship.
I was simply entertained by the fact that these simultaneous "cruise ship illnesses" occurred directly following our Humans&Viruses journey into the world of norovirus and diarrhea. It reminded me of my own experiences at Stanford Sierra Camp (where I worked 2 summers) and the constant dread of a norovirus outbreak among staffers there. I'll never forget the phrase "no noro" that would be uttered before sharing drinks or similar... probably not the overall best virus prevention...
- Elena Higuchi