By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Federal officials report investigating a norovirus outbreak affecting passengers and crew onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s vessel, Conquest.
Seventeen passengers and 35 crew were stricken with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting during the September 7-14 voyage. The causative agent was determined to be norovirus.
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).
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.
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%).
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