Norovirus outbreak sickens 150-plus on Royal Caribbean cruise

The Oasis of the Seas departed from Port Canaveral Fla. on Jan. 6 and is due to return to port on Jan. 13

Mr Torres said in a statement to the Associated Press: "We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health".

Passengers aboard a seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise have been struck with what can only be described as nightmarish conditions, with at least 167 of them falling ill with Norovirus.

While media reports state the cause of the outbreak as norovirus, CDC officials report the causative agent as being "unknown" as of January 10.

The ship left Port Canaveral on Florida's Atlantic Coast on Sunday.

Thomas shared a video on Twitter of crew members cleaning the ship.

Shawn Popeleski, a 19-year-old from Vermont sailing on Oasis, told the Orlando Sentinel that he and his family were notified via a letter on Wednesday that there was norovirus onboard.

Royal Caribbean plans on fully sanitizing the ship in time for the next sailing.

Sick passengers and crew were treated with over-the-counter medication, and staff took what precautions they could to prevent the spread of disease, serving all drinks and food themselves lest passengers unwittingly share virus-laden tableware, but there is only so much one can do to alleviate people's discomfort on board a floating epidemic.


Gastrointestinal illness on Oasis of the Seas forces Royal Caribbean to end cruise early

According to reports, the ship arrived at the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny with approximately 167 reported cases of the gastrointestinal illness.

"They are held to a standard that, frankly, not everyone else is held to", said Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of Cruise Critic, a popular cruise review website.

Oasis' outbreak is the first to meet the threshold for CDC reporting in 2019 - and the first outbreak of that scale for the ship.

January 10, 2019 a.m. update: The Oasis of the Seas reportedly is skipping the port of Cozumel and will return to Port Canaveral.

Although this outbreak may seem sensationally large, it is actually proportionate for a gastrointestinal infection on a cruise ship. Oasis of the Seas has passed every sanitation inspection since its first in 2010.

"People are still getting sick", he told ABC News. Although shipboard outbreaks cause headlines, norovirus has also occurred at schools, conferences and in hotels.

"I'm still having a good time", he said.

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