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Saturday 12 January 2019

Cruise nightmare as tummy bug strikes

It is every cruise passengers' worse nightmare; massive a ship full of sick people, a journey cut short. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises has this weekend cut short a sailing of the giant Oasis of the Seas to the Caribbean after almost 300 people complained of suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms.

The ship returned to its Florida base after the number of passengers suffering from the sickness bug rose to 277.

Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres said: "We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health."

Although no consolation to those currently suffering, the number of cases of shipboard gastrointestinal outbreaks is on the decline, and was significantly down in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Last year just 547 cases were recorded on 10 cruises by the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program.

An outbreak is classified when at least 3% of passengers and crew fall ill. It is unclear what caused the outbreak on the Royal Caribbean liner.

The Oasis of the Seas carries up to 5,400 passengers and over 2,000 crew.    

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