Some disturbing news was just reported from a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship. According to new reports, nearly 500 people have been reported sick on the ship.
A company spokeswoman confirmed that there are now 475 passengers on the Oasis of the Seas who have been fallen ill. That number has increased significantly since the day prior when the spokeswoman revealed that there were 277 people who had gotten sick.
According to NBC News, there was an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on the ship. The cruise liner was expected to return to Florida on Sunday, but will now be arriving a day early due to the outbreak.
The company confirmed that all passengers will receive a refund because of the horrible outbreak. NBC noted that this particular cruise ship was voted as the best cruise ship in 2014 by Travel Weekly readers.
One passenger revealed that authorities on the ship announced to the passengers that the outbreak was “most likely” related to norovirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes norovirus as a “very contagious” type of gastrointestinal illness. They reported that people can catch it by being in contact with someone else who has it, touching something that has been contaminated with it, or by drinking or eating contaminated food or water.
According to USA Today, the ship holds over 6,000 passengers and has a crew of over 2,000. Though the number of sick passengers is low compared to the total, the number of illness continues to increase due to the highly contagious nature of the stomach flu.
Though the CDC noted that the disease is “relatively infrequent on cruise ships,” almost 500 people have now been infected on the Oasis of the Seas. They reported that typical symptoms include pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
The Royal Caribbean said, “We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health. Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.”
The company will issue full refunds to everyone on board.
What would you do if you were on this ship?! Does this deter you from going on a cruise in the future? Let us know! In other recent news, 3 Deadliest Catch stars were just killed in a tragic accident. Please be praying for their families during this time.