๐Ÿคฎ Sea-Sick Soiree: 177 Party Pukers on Celebrity Summit, Cruise Ships Score 12 Barf Breakouts in 2023 ๐Ÿšข

TL;DR: The Celebrity Summit cruise ๐Ÿšข experienced a nasty norovirus outbreak, racking up a total of 177 sick passengers and crew members. This marks the twelfth gastrointestinal (GI) bug bout on cruise ships in 2023 alone. Despite cruise industry associations claiming these instances are “quite rare” ๐Ÿฆ„, we’ve already surpassed the average annual GI outbreak count for the three years preceding the pandemic. ๐Ÿ˜ณ CDC points to food and water contamination as primary culprits, but the question remains: Do cruise lines need to give their hygiene protocols a serious scrub-down? ๐Ÿงผ

All aboard the Barf Barge, folks! The Celebrity Summit cruise ship’s recent voyage became less of a vacation and more of a vomit-fest as a gnarly norovirus outbreak hit. Out of the 2,144 passengers and 963 crew members, 152 and 25 individuals respectively were left clutching their stomachs. ๐Ÿ˜ท Symptoms ranged from diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps to headaches. Not exactly the sun-soaked escape they signed up for, right?

Now here’s a thought: this is the twelfth such GI outbreak on cruise ships this year. Only halfway through 2023, and we’ve already doubled the average annual total of GI cases from the pre-pandemic years! ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Got to wonder, how many more toilet paper rolls are they going to need?

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry’s trade association, insists these gastrointestinal gremlins are “quite rare” aboard their ships. They also push the idea that passengers’ unwashed hands are often the culprits for these outbreaks. But, do you really believe that, or is it just another wave in their ocean of excuses? ๐ŸŒŠ

Our friends at the CDC beg to differ, and they’ve got some pretty heavy evidence to back up their claim. They determined that the cause of this recent outbreak was norovirus, typically linked to contaminated food or water. Furthermore, they found that 41% of outbreaks with an identifiable cause were triggered by food contaminated by ill or infectious employees. ๐Ÿค”

Food for thought: if a significant number of foodborne illness cases are caused by ill workers who can’t afford to take sick leave, is it high tide for the cruise industry to revise its policies? No cruise line that we know of provides paid sick leave to their crew members. ๐Ÿคท

The CDC often doesn’t get much time to investigate when ships with sick passengers return to port, swiftly replaced by a fresh batch of passengers. Out of the last twelve illness outbreaks on cruise ships, the CDC could only confirm the cause in five cases – all of which involved norovirus. ๐Ÿ’ฉ

So, while CLIA and cruise lines may keep trying to convince us that it’s our dirty hands causing these outbreaks, the truth seems to lie a little deeper. Is it time for cruise lines to stop the blame game and start doing more to prevent these outbreaks? Or are we going to see more of these not-so-pleasant cruises in the future? ๐Ÿคฎ

Finally, what do you think? Is it really worth risking a vacation-turned-vomit-party, or is it time to demand better from these floating resorts? ๐Ÿ›ณ Let’s hear your thoughts!