Oklahoma resident Marilyn Tackett, 77, has become the first cruise line passenger to die of Covid-19 after the industry restarted travel in the US and the Caribbean in June.
She was sailing on the Carnival Vista Cruise from Galveston in Texas to Belize with her family when she contracted the virus. The woman died of Covid-19 after battling with the virus for nearly a fortnight.
The female passenger was not one of the 27 people who tested positive for the virus abroad on the cruise ship that was sailing to the Caribbean in late July and early August, according to KHOU 11. The report stated that she was not the only passenger who contracted the virus along with the 26 crew members.
According to a statement released by the cruise line earlier this month, all the people who contracted the virus were vaccinated.
"Crew are 99.98 percent vaccinated. Passengers are 96.5 percent vaccinated. All crew members who have tested positive are in isolation. All persons who have tested positive are vaccinated most are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms," the company stated.
It is unclear if the female passenger was vaccinated, according to The New York Times and NBC News.
When Did Marilyn Tackett Contracted Virus?
Tackett tested positive for the virus after she started experiencing respiratory problems. On the fourth day of the trip, the passenger was evacuated from the ship when it reached Belize, and she was admitted to a hospital for further retreatment. She was put on ventilator support in a Tulsa, Oklahoma hospital, where she died on August 14.
"She was so excited to take her first trip outside the US. While on the Caribbean Cruise she got sick and diagnosed with covid in Belize. She is having complications with that and has been in the Belize hospital for a few days now on a ventilator and her condition continues to decline. We're working on getting together with ICU Air Evacuation to bring her back to Tulsa so she can receive the best care possible. Her health insurance doesn't cover care outside of the US or her travel flight home so we'll be responsible to pay for it all," the passenger's grandchild wrote on gofundme.com
How Did She Contract Virus?
The cruise line also released a statement addressing the passenger's demise and stated that it is "unlikely" that she contracted the virus onboard.
'We are very sorry to hear about the death of a guest who sailed on Carnival Vista...The guest almost certainly did not contract COVID on our ship, and she was assisted with expert medical care on board and was ultimately evacuated from Belize after we provided a resource to her family. We have continued to provide support to her family and are not going to add to their sadness by commenting further," the company stated.
The Galveston-based ship was carrying nearly 3000 passengers and more than 1400 crew while sailing to the Caribbean, according to Belize Tourism Board. It also stated that no other passengers onboard contracted the virus.