The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) reported that they are investigating a suspected norovirus outbreak onboard Holland America Cruise lines vessel, ms Oosterdam.
The cruise ship docked in Tampa Friday after a 15-day voyage that departed from Rome, Italy on Nov. 3.
According to health officials, 86 of 1,843 (4.67%) passengers and 18 of 796 (2.26%) of the crew were sickened with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
In response to the outbreak, Holland America Line and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions: Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing and consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Tampa, FL, on Nov 18.
According to Holland America officials, the ship is undergoing a thorough sanitation at the end of the cruise.
Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.
The symptoms include nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. Sometimes people additionally have a low-grade fever,chills,headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people, the illness is self-limiting with symptoms lasting for about 1 or 2 days.
In general, children experience more vomiting than adults do.
Norovirus is spread person to person particularly in crowded, closed places. Norovirus is typically spread through contaminated food and water, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting your hand or fingers in your mouth and close contact with someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea.