Norovirus Strikes At Least 200 Passengers On Princess Cruise Ship In New Zealand

Welcome to the halls of norovirus infamy, Dawn Princess.

Welcome to the halls of norovirus infamy, Dawn Princess.

Another cruise in the news, another batch of passengers clutched in the gross embrace of that scourge of all pleasure vessels on the high seas, norovirus. A Princess Cruises ship in New Zealand has had 200 passengers fall ill recently, struck with the nasty gastrointestinal illness.

Health authorities in the Land That Is Not The Land Down Under, You Know, It Was Featured Prominently In The Lord Of The Rings?, confirmed the illnesses today, reports the Associated Press.

The passengers were among the 1,500 aboard the Dawn Princess, which was supposed to leave today for Australia after finishing a 13-day trip. Princess Cruises is a division of Carnival Corp., which is no stranger to the havoc norovirus can wreak on a traveler’s insides (cough, ahem, Poop Cruise, cough). For those unfamiliar, there can be stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

A local doctor and medical officer of health for Canterbury, NZ, said officials had done tests that showed proof of norovirus among the travelers, an outbreak that appears to be slowing down now, he said.

Norovirus is often an unwelcome passenger on cruise ships, as it thrives in conditions with lots of people in an contained environment, where it can easily spread from person to person.

As such, Princess Cruises said in a statement that ill passengers were isolated in their cabins until they were deemed not contagious anymore, while others were told to wash their hands correctly and use hand sanitizers. The cruise line said crew members had been disinfecting surfaces like railings and door handles as well.

Norovirus sickens 200 people on New Zealand cruise [Associated Press]