One of the largest cruise liners in the world has been infected with norovirus as it pulled into port in Jamaica. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, which is currently home to 9,000 guests, put a ban on passengers leaving the vessel as they drafted in emergency medication. A total of 167 people are confirmed to have been struck down by the infection, which is a winter stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. The vessel was transporting guests to the sunshine hotspot from Florida.
It docked in Falmouth, which is in the northern side of Jamaica, before the illness was flagged to staff.
Its passengers were in the midst of a seven day cruise around the Caribbean islands.
Owen Torres, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean, told FLORIDA TODAY of the outbreak which happened on Wednesday and said: “As of today, 167 cases of gastrointestinal illness have been reported since Sunday, representing two percent of the nearly 9,000 guests and crew on board.
“Those affected by the short-lived illness are being treated by our ship’s medical team with over-the-counter medication.
“Meanwhile, we are bringing additional medical staff on board and we’re engaging in intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues.”
It is unclear whether the cruise ship was in quarantine.
Meanwhile, it is the latest in a line of mass illnesses to affect cruise passengers.
In October, German holidaymakers were forced to stay in their cabins and eat bread and water after a sickness bug swept the luxury liner Aida Prima, it has been claimed.
Around 300 passengers were left suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea by the suspected virus onboard the cruise ship.
The ship departed Palma in Majorca, Spain on 22 September but its Mediterranean voyage was cut short by the mass illness.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that ill passengers had to queue for three hours to give officials details on their illness.
They then allegedly had to wait for five hours for the doctor to come to their cabin, only for the medical professional to stay just a few minutes.
Staff are said to have distributed leaflets with hygiene advice while sick passengers were brought bread and water in their cabins.
The ship docked back at Palma earlier than planned. To prevent the disease from spreading, passengers were taken by bus to a farm on the outskirts of the city to wait for flights back to Germany.
Express.co.uk has contacted Royal Caribbean for comment.