Federal health officials are reporting the fourth cruise ship outbreak in the past week and the fifth of 2016 on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Sunshine.
Nearly 4 percent of the 3000 passengers (118) and five crew members have been taken ill with the gastrointestinal bug, norovirus. Specimens were collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens were sent to CDC for additional testing.
In response to the outbreak, Carnival Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions: Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, collected stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing, made twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) and consulted with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Port Canaveral, FL on March 5, 2016.
The CDC VSP conducts investigations if 3.0% of the ship’s passengers or crew members have GI illness, OR if an unusual GI illness pattern or characteristic is found (even if the illness rate is less than 3%).