The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a norovirus outbreak onboard a recent voyage of Holland America’s cruise ship, Volendam.
According to officials, 77 passenger and crew were sicked during the November 3-18 voyage.
Specimens have been collected, tested onboard, and found to be positive for norovirus. The specimens will be sent to CDC for genome sequencing.
Holland America Group and the crew aboard the ship took the following actions to limit the outbreak to include increased cleaning and disinfection, making announcements to notify onboard passengers and crew of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage good hand hygiene and sending a team to assist the onboard management with infection control response plans.
The vessel arrived in Ft Lauderdale on Nov. 18.
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.
Norovirus causes more than 20 million illnesses annually in the US, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.
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