Norovirus Docks Cruise Ship Passengers

Holland American and Norovirus

Passengers on a Holland American cruise ship were returned to dock yesterday. The travelers had been on their way to the Mexican Riviera, but have docked in San Diego to drop off sick passengers.

More than 100 of the 2,600 passengers are reported to have a stomach flu due to the the norovirus. Symptoms due to norovirus include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Not the kind of movement these travelers wanted.

While in dock, the ship MS Oosterdam was disinfected, then returned back to sea on Saturday night.


The symptoms of norovirus illness begin suddenly. Symptoms usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus, but they can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure.

In addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, infected persons may have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. In most the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days. Children tend to experience more vomiting than adults.

Noroviruses are very contagious. The virus is easily spread from person to person which can be a serious problem in a “closed environment” of a ship.

People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill until at least 3 days after recovery. Some people may be contagious for as long as 2 weeks after recovery. It is particularly important for people to use good hand washing and hygiene after they have recently recovered from norovirus illness.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention