Cruising for Trouble

Don't blame the ocean liners. You can get this stomach bug almost anywhere

The scourge that's plaguing cruise lines--and causing thousands of Americans to rethink their holiday travel plans--didn't start this year, nor did it even start on a ship. It began, as far as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can tell, in Norwalk, Ohio, in October 1968, when 116 elementary-school children and teachers suddenly became ill. The CDC investigated, and the culprit was discovered to be a small, spherical, previously unclassified virus that scientists named, appropriately enough, the Norwalk virus.

Flash forward 34 years, and Norwalk-like viruses (there's a whole family of them) are all over the news as one ocean liner...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!