Harmony of the Seas Guest hospitalized in Italy with COVID-19


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Earlier this week, a passenger aboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the seas was removed from the cruise ship and hospitalized ashore in the Italian town of La Spezia after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 on the cruise ship.

Italian newspaper Il Secolo XIX reported earlier last week that a 74-year-old American passenger began to experience symptoms after boarding the cruise ship in Barcelona on August 29. After a regular stopover on its itinerary in Palma de Mallorca on August 30, the next day the ship arranged for the guest to be transported to Sant’Andrea Hospital in La Spezia where he was admitted to the infectious disease ward. He was accompanied by his wife who stayed with him as the ship sailed to the next port.

Royal Caribbean required all guests over the age of eighteen to be vaccinated and tested negative before boarding. The whole crew is vaccinated. The article specifies that the guests “also suffered from other significant pathologies”. He tested negative for COVID-19 shortly before boarding the ship.

After disembarking the infected guest, the Harmony calls at the ports of Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples, Italy. There have been no other public reports of COVID-19 infection among the crew or other guests. The ship is expected to return to Barcelona tomorrow (Sunday).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their guidelines to recommend that travelers (departing from U.S. ports) who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to avoid cruise ships, regardless of or their vaccination status.

The new CDC guidelines apply to older people (defined as 65 and over), people with certain medical conditions, and people who are pregnant and recently pregnant. Prior to this announcement, the CDC recommended that only people who were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 completely avoid cruise ships.

As reported by USA Today, the CDC website says the virus that causes COVID-19 can easily spread between nearby people on ships, and the chances of contracting COVID-19 on cruise ships are “high”.

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Image credit: Top – Harmony of the seas – kees torn – FORWARD 20, CC BY-SA 2.0, commons / wikipedia; low – Harmony of the seas in the port of La Spezia – Il Secolo XIX

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