Gastrointestinal Outbreak Reported on Newly Launched Cruise Ship

Silver Nova from Silversea Cruises has a gastrointestinal outbreak onboard but no delays have been reported for her next cruise.

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The newest luxury ship from Silversea Cruises, Silver Nova, has reported a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on its current sailing, with nearly 30 guests and crew members reporting symptoms.

Onboard actions have been taken to ensure good hygiene and minimize any further spreading of the illness, as well as to keep guests informed of the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is observing an outbreak of a disease on Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova, with 29 incidents reported on the current 16-night voyage.

Based on the information provided by the CDC, among the confirmed cases, 28 emerged from passengers out of the 633 passengers (4.42%), while only one involves a member of the 538-person crew (.19%). When the Silver Nova is fully occupied, it can accommodate 728 guests, and the entire crew can include up to 556 members.

The names of the individuals experiencing symptoms have not been shared in order to protect their privacy, which is standard procedure. The extent of the symptoms is not currently known.

At the moment, the specific disease is still unconfirmed, but the main symptom is diarrhea. This is likely to be norovirus, or it could be a different gastroenterological disease, which are often transmitted through contaminated surfaces.

The total of 29 cases does not imply that all 29 guests and crew members are ill at the same time. The figure solely represents the confirmed, symptomatic cases reported throughout the course of the voyage. Symptoms of Norovirus, for instance, typically last just 1-3 days so the spread of cases over the duration of the voyage with a handful of new cases cropping up intermittently is a plausible scenario.

Upon receiving the reported cases, the crew members on board the Silver Nova promptly enforced enhanced sanitation protocols and other measures to curb further spread of the illness.

This incorporated making frequent reminders to both crew members and staff about the importance of maintaining good hand hygiene, a crucial preventive step against the spread of germs, especially before eating and after using the toilet. Anyone exhibiting symptoms also underwent immediate isolation to significantly reduce the risk of transmission to others.

Read Also: Cruise Ship Illness – How to Protect Yourself

Improved cleaning and disinfection processes have been introduced on board, particularly focusing on high-touch surfaces and common areas.

The Silver Nova is on a 16-night one-way voyage from Lima, Peru to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, having made stops in Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, Jamaica, and Mexico on its journey. Guests also had the option to join the cruise in Cartagena, Colombia, for the remaining 7 nights.

The ship is set to dock at Port Everglades on Tuesday, April 16, and it seems there won’t be any delay in her planned arrival. Her next journey, set to start on the same day, is a 20-night one-way trip from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco, California, featuring a complete passage through the Panama Canal.

Embarkation for the next voyage may be slightly pushed back to allow for comprehensive cleaning and sanitation measures, and travelers will be notified directly if this change takes effect. The ship will depart on schedule, and any minor delay should not influence the succeeding itinerary.

The epidemic on the newly commissioned 54,700-gross-tonne Silver Nova, launched in August 2023 and officially named in January 2024, is not this year’s first report of sickness to the CDC.

Eerily similar outbreaks have already been investigated on ships like the Celebrity Constellation from Celebrity Cruises, the Queen Victoria from Cunard Line, and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam.

In all these cases, norovirus was identified as the cause of the sickness. The outbreak on board the Queen Victoria was the most severe, with 154 passengers and crew affected by vomiting and diarrhea.

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