I used to think that there couldn’t be anything worse than being in a closed environment like a cruise ship or a nursing home where quickly-mutating norovirus makes multiple passes through the population. Then I learned about the flight from Chile to Australia where 26 high school students came down with the disease while in the air.
Norovirus is a virulent and highly contagious stomach bug that gives victims terrible vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes simultaneously, as in they are not sure which end to point at the toilet at any given time. Now imagine going through this, with 25 other people, while on a 747 that only has ten bathrooms total. Almost as bad? Being one of the other passengers on the plane.
Reports indicate that the 26 were on their way home from hanging out with the Pope at World Youth Day in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.
Paramedics were waiting for the sick passengers on the ground, and sixteen of them were taken to the hospital. The disease takes 48 hours to incubate, so at least other passengers weren’t becoming ill while on the plane. Unlike when norovirus infests cruise ships.