In what has become an all-too-common occurrence on cruise ships, a sizable number of passengers aboard a ship bound for Belfast were afflicted by a gastroenteritis-type illness. The company that owns the cruise ship, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, reported that 84 of it 763 guests were sick. As a result the ship, the Boudicca, will be heading home from its 10-day Scandinavian Cities Cruise ahead of schedule. When they arrive, the sick will receive immediate medical attention.
This latest outbreak was the second to hit a Fred Olsen Cruise Lines in weeks, after 130 people contracted a similar illness on a ship that was bound for St. Petersburg, Russia. Of course, this particular cruise line is not the only one to suffer viral outbreaks on board. Only recently, one of the major players in the global industry, Royal Caribbean Cruises, reported that 118 passengers aboard its ship Vision of the Seas came down with a highly contagious stomach bug.
Why does it happen? According to medical professionals, when you have large groups of people in close quarters and there is frequent passenger turnover, the risk of a viral transmission is elevated; and a highly contagious virus can spread like wildfire.