In a follow-up on the gastrointestinal outbreak onboard the recent Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas voyage last week, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the causative agent of the outbreak was indeed norovirus.

info-norovirusNorovirus sickened 310 passengers and 22 crewmembers (revised number). Federal health officials say cases reported are totals for the entire voyage.

Norovirus, a very contagious virus that can affect anyone, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the US. In fact, the average American gets infected with this virus five times in their lifetime.

The usual symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. There is no specific treatment for this illness and most individuals recover in 1 to 3 days. The illness can last longer and be more severe in young children, older people, or people who have other chronic health conditions.


The virus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly between persons and through contaminated food or water. Norovirus can survive on surfaces and be transferred to other people when they touch the contaminated surface.