Medical researchers have recently indicated that they are closing in on a potential vaccine for norovirus, and not a moment too soon. Norovirus is a highly contagious bug, which affects the gastro-intestinal system. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and headache. People sharing tight living conditions tend to be more prone to contract norovirus, making cruise ships practically a petrie dish of illness during and outbreak.
The United Kingdom is currently experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of norovirus. According to the Telegraph newspaper, the UK has seen over 750,000 cases of the virus this year, which is up a whopping 72 percent from last year. With no many cases, it is no wonder that cruise ship passengers have not been sparred. As the cruise season continues, more and more stories of cruise ship norovirus outbreaks are emerging.
Passengers aboard the 1,843 passenger P&O ship Oriana have begun to call the ship the “plague ship” after dozens of them fell ill with norovirus during a recent sailing. The ship One passenger described the situation as passengers “dropping like flies.” Yesterday morning the P&O Azura docked in Southampton, carrying still more passengers who were showing symptoms of the illness.
Because norovirus outbreaks occur on a yearly basis, especially during winter, researchers are scrambling for a vaccine. Recent reports suggest that scientists are close to a vaccine, but not there just yet. Though the virus is not usually fatal, there is no cure for norovirus.