View Full Version : 3rd cruise ship stricken sick

12-02-2002, 11:22 PM
I beginning to wonder if these aren't accidents!


OK fess up, which one of you is doing it! :D

12-05-2002, 03:57 PM
4 and counting! :eek:

MIAMI (Dec. 5) - Nearly 120 people have been sickened with symptoms consistent with a Norwalk-like virus on a fourth cruise ship to report an outbreak of a stomach ailment in recent weeks.

The Oceana, operated by P&O Cruises of Great Britain, reported that 114 passengers and three crew members have been treated for some sort of virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

More than 1,000 passengers have recently become sick on cruise ships, but cruise lines and travel agents said the problems have not significantly cut into business.

A CDC spokesman said the symptoms aboard the Oceana are consistent with the virus that have recently plagued Holland America's Amsterdam, Carnival Cruise Lines' Fascination and Disney Cruise Line's Magic. Federal health officials were expected to board the Oceana to investigate.

The Oceana, carrying 1,859 passengers on a 15-night trip, is on only its third sail since its inaugural voyage from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades on Nov. 1.

The Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting for 24 to 48 hours, according to the CDC. They are spread through food and water and close contact with infected people or things they have touched.

Health officials said the sickness is common, especially in colder months, and that it is unclear whether there have been more cases aboard cruise ships than usual, or if the latest cases have simply received more attention.

The cruise industry, still recovering from a slump attributed to the weak economy and Sept. 11, has been aggressive in trying to reassure the public. The cruise lines have been quick to note that they have been taking ships out of service and scrubbing them from stem to stern.

Travel agents said they have fielded questions from people booked far in advance on cruises, but have not seen many customers back out.

``Our passengers are still cruising,'' said Jeanne T. Van Houten, owner of Isings Travel in Boca Raton, who said she had only one cancellation. ``Some of our passengers who are experienced cruisers do understand the real facts. Some of it has been totally overblown.''

Rather than miss out on their long-planned vacations, many passengers have decided to sail with a few precautions. Some are washing their hands frequently or using anti-bacterial lotion. Others are taking a pass at the self-serve buffets. One traveler even brought his own food, water and a pillow.

Tom and Karen Holzwarth of Cleveland, aboard Carnival's Fascination, said they never considered canceling their vacation even after hearing about an outbreak that sickened about 200 people on the ship's previous voyage over the weekend.

``We have two kids at home and a baby sitter,'' Karen Holzwarth said.

12-05-2002, 04:04 PM
I've wondered the same thing Brian. I don't watch TV or read the paper much these days. Has this been well covered?

John of Phoenix
12-05-2002, 04:14 PM
Isn't it odd that this seems to be ship borne and not much of a problem ashore? You'd think it would be everywhere if it were so contagious.

Reminds me of the Swine Flu outbreak a few years back. Typical vomiting and diarrhea stuff, but you knew you had Swine Flu when you wanted to roll around in it. :D :D

12-05-2002, 04:31 PM
It's been on all the networks.
Footage of workers sanitizing the ships

The CDC ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/) has been all over it.
CDC Telebriefing Transcript (http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/transcripts/t021127.htm)

Cruise ships are the perfect ground to breed certain diseases. Unlike hotels, the guests often can't leave for the week that they are on the ships. You also have a large mixing of people from different areas and nations.

ion barnes
12-05-2002, 10:33 PM
Its not just Miami, we have had three or four cases in the Pacfic NW. My take on this is that it originates with a distribution site for commodities common to all cruise ships. Something like the well in London that everyone prefered to get their water from because it tasted good, but infact was poisoning everyone. On of the very first medical investigators went door to door asking questions and found a common thread that connected everyone ie. that one particular well in the whole of London. I also read National Geographic.

12-06-2002, 05:04 AM
My non-medical guess is that it could be something
like that, and the "something in common" might not be stores or food; it might be crew members returning to work following leave and/or joining ships but who are coming from an area with an outbreak currently taking place.

It does not look very serious - just a glorified tummy upset - enough to spoil one's holiday but not life threatening.

I am also pretty sure that this sort of thing is more likely to make the papers, now.

Matt J.
12-06-2002, 03:31 PM
If you all call a "vacation" (American use) a "holiday," then what do you call the days such as Christmas, New Years, etc? and how did we get that one mixed up? smile.gif Truly curious. Since my American holidays are usually single days, and my British holidays are a week or more, I'd rather be sick on an american holiday. Unless the British holidays are also equal to the American holidays in which case it doesn't really matter it's just a bummer to be sick...

never mind me. rotten week, but the weekend's coming.

I wonder, what proportion of the wooden boat heads take cruise ship vacations - not exactly wooden-boat-traditional, but it'll get you on the ocean for a bit. My folks are huge fans, but J and I have found them a bit predictable, unrewarding, and on a downward spiral ITO quality of service.

:D Have a good weekend and reminiscent (doesn't sound appropriate to say "good) Pearl Harbor day.

[ 12-06-2002, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: Matt Joyce ]

ken mcclure
12-06-2002, 05:10 PM
Heck, I start throwing up just looking at pictures of cruise ships.

12-06-2002, 06:08 PM
Matt, thanks for that. I was unaware of that usage, but I think that your "Holidays" (days when the entire nation, apart from essential services, takes the day off work) are our "Bank Holidays" and that we use the term "Holiday" where you say "Vacation". Assuming that "holiday" derives from "Holy Day", then your usage seems closer to the original.

We confine the term "vacation" to periods when either (a) no lectures are given at a University or (b) the Law Courts are not sitting.

12-06-2002, 09:03 PM
Hah! Nobody ever came down with vomiting and diarrhea on one of OUR boats!

...Scurvy maybe...

12-08-2002, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Shang:
Hah! Nobody ever came down with vomiting and diarrhea on one of OUR boats!

...Scurvy maybe...LOL