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Norovirus outbreak on Caribbean cruise ships

Norovirus outbreak on one Caribbean cruise ship hits over 170 passengers and crew members, according to a Jan. 31 Sky News report. The Caribbean Princess’ voyage to the Caribbean was cut short, and passengers returned two days early to the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Houston, Texas, late on Thursday.

Norovirus outbreak on Caribbean cruise ships
Norovirus outbreak on Caribbean cruise ships
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Health officials will oversee an “extensive sanitation of the ship,” as a norovirus outbreak is highly contagious, often causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The Caribbean Princess was not the only cruise ship affected by the norovirus outbreak. According to CNN, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that over 600 passengers and crew on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas have also been hit with the gastrointestinal virus.

The ship returned to port Wednesday, two days earlier than expected, and four days after the CDC began its investigation. “No particular source has been identified, and it's quite possible a source won't be identified, the CDC said.

Despite the norovirus outbreak on the Caribbean Princess, the cruise line's official reason for cutting the trip short was not the outbreak, but rather a weather forecast of dense fog this weekend at its final port in Houston. This “excuse” is not acceptable to most passengers, including Keith Davis of Austin who spoke with CNN affiliate KHOU. “That's last Tuesday they tell us this, and they've never said anything different,” he told KHOU. “I knew then nobody can predict five days in advance. I knew that that wasn't the case. They were just doing that to minimize their damages.”