Sixty-eight passengers and one crew member on board Holland America Cruise line vessel, Volendam, were stricken with norovirus, according to federal health officials.
During a voyage from July 12-19, 68 of 1,480 (4.59%) passengers and 1 of 610 (0.16%) crew were reported as ill with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Norovirus has been identified as the causative agent of the outbreak.
In response to the outbreak, Holland America and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions: Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, Five stool samples were collected and submitted to the British Columbia (Canada) Centre for Disease Control laboratory and made daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
A CDC-VSP environmental health officer boarded the ship in Vancouver once the vessel docked to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
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.
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