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ruben.maritime

The first web2.0 spanish blog about Maritime Affairs. El primer blog web2.0 español sobre el sector marítimo.

2006 snags norovirus crown

MIAMI 02 January – More norovirus outbreaks struck North American cruise ships in 2006 than during any previous year, according to Centres for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. As the year closed, 37 outbreaks have been reported, with December cases logged aboard the Norwegian Wind, Regal Princess, Sun Princess, Zaandam and Freedom of the Seas (additional reports could be pending). Earlier years’ outbreak totals were: 19 (2005), 36 (the previous record, 2004), 27 (2003) and 21 (2002). When asked about norovirus’ impact during Carnival Corp’s 4Q06 conference call, chairman Micky Arison responded: “We haven’t seen it in booking patterns, but we know, anecdotally, that it must be a problem.” While outbreaks remained high despite sanitation efforts, Arison noted on the plus side that “the media has handled the issue far better, for the first time putting it in context – that this virus has spread widely throughout the country”. Arison said first-time cruisers are more likely to be nervous about the impact of norovirus. Together with other negatives that dissuade first-timers such as air-travel hassles, Arison suggested that norovirus fears could be playing a supporting role in current Caribbean short-cruise weakness, which is being primarily driven by macroeconomic factors.

 

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