Highly contagious norovirus outbreak hits 73 people on a Celebrity cruise to Alaska

A highly contagious norovirus hit at least 73 people aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship traveling between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska last week, including 68 passengers and five crew members.

Also called the "stomach flu" (even though it has nothing to do with influenza), infected passengers and workers spent part of their voyage in isolation with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting.

Once the cruise ended, which was last Friday, the ship was rigorously scrubbed and sanitized before it departed with a new batch of passengers, who are currently at sea.

This is the seventh such outbreak on a cruise ship so far this year, according to Travel and Tour World. The first outbreak of 2024, reported in January, was also on a Celebrity cruise ship and infected 100 people.

From TTW:

The outbreak occurred during a voyage that departed from Vancouver, British Columbia, on May 24. The Celebrity Summit, a 2,264-guest ship, was on one of its series of Alaska cruise voyages…

Upon discovering the outbreak, Celebrity Cruises took immediate action to mitigate the spread. Sick guests and crew were isolated, and the ship underwent a more rigorous sanitization process.

[Norovirus] spreads easily through contaminated food, water, and surfaces, making it difficult to control once it begins. Despite rigorous health and safety measures, cruise lines continue to face challenges in preventing such outbreaks.