What to most folks worry about when they go on a cruise?
That’s right. Norovirus…
While it isn’t as common as most folks think, norovirus is still often thought of as the cruise ship disease.
Measles on a Plane, Train, and a Cruise Ship
Not surprisingly, many of the same conditions that put you at risk for getting norovirus, including that it is very contagious and you are in close quarters with a lot of other people on a ship, puts you at risk for getting other diseases.
In 2014, 136 people got measles after an unvaccinated person developed measles on a cruise ship, including 28 people on the cruise.
More recently, an unvaccinated teenager exposed others to measles on a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship while visiting Alaska. It seems like the same person also exposed folks to measles on a few planes and trains too.
How did they get measles? In Thailand.
This is almost certainly the same person who arrived at Vancouver International Airport from Tokyo on an Air Canada flight (July 30), leaving for Portland on Air Canada Jazz that same day.
While in Portland, they exposed people to measles at multiple locations:
- Leno Medoyeff Bridal, 710 NW 23rd Ave., Portland, 3:30—5:30 p.m. (July 31)
- Tom’s Pancake House, 12925 SW Canyon Rd., Beaverton, 7—9:30 a.m. (Aug. 1)
- Max Red Line, Beaverton Transit Center to Pioneer Square, 12:30—1 p.m. (Aug. 2)
- Max Red Line, Pioneer Place to Beaverton Transit Center, 5:30—6 p.m. (Aug. 2)
- Verde Cocina, 5515 SW Canyon Ct., Portland, 2—4:30 p.m. (Aug. 5)
They weren’t done yet though.
They then traveled back to Vancouver International Airport on an Alaska Airlines flight (August 6) and boarded a Norwegian Jewel cruise ship to Alaska.
Fortunately, the teen was placed in medical isolation shortly after boarding the ship and may have left the typically 7 day cruise early, as they were transferred to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center on August 8.
How can you protect yourself?
Get vaccinated. You never know when someone who is unvaccinated is going to expose your family to measles or put them at risk for other vaccine-preventable disease.
More on Measles on a Plane, Train, and a Cruise Ship
- Measles at Vancouver International Airport
- Traveler with measles visited Portland area while infectious
- CDC – Extensive Nosocomial Transmission of Measles Originating in Cruise Ship Passenger, Sardinia, Italy, 2014
- Measles outbreak on a cruise ship in the western Mediterranean, February 2014, preliminary report
- CDC – Preventing Spread of Disease on Commercial Aircraft: Guidance for Cabin Crew
- CDC – Protecting Travelers’ Health from Airport to Community: Investigating Contagious Diseases on Flights