The second cruise ship outbreak of 2015 investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) occurred on Celebrity Cruise lines’ Celebrity Equinox.
The outbreak of the gastrointestinal virus, norovirus, sickened 150 of the approximately 4,000 passengers and crew on board the vessel.
In response to the outbreak, Celebrity Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship are taking the following actions: Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, making announcements to notify onboard passengers of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage hand hygiene and collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew.
Three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist boarded the ship in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) on February 23, 2015 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
Comprehensive sanitation procedures in Fort Lauderdale occurred upon arrival to include providing additional cleaning crew to complete a thorough public and accommodation super-sanitization cleaning and disinfection; planning staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests, and planning for sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.