In a follow-up on the two latest cruise ship outbreaks investigated by the Centers for Disease Control’s Vessel Sanitation Program in February– Princess Cruises Island Princess and Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Star, officials have determined that the etiology for both outbreaks was norovirus.
On the Island Princess February 8-18 voyage, a total of 110 passengers and crew were sickened.
On the Viking Star February 7-14 voyage, 37 passengers and crew were affected.
CDC says although people associate norovirus with cruises, in actuality it is relatively infrequent.
From 2008 to 2014, 74 million passengers sailed on cruise ships in the Vessel Sanitation Program’s jurisdiction. Only 129,678 passengers met the program’s case definition for acute gastrointestinal illness and only a small proportion of those cases (1 in 10) were part of a norovirus outbreak.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, from contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.
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