As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program personnel go aboard the Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess when it docks in Los Angeles today, they will be facing an norovirus outbreak investigation which has sickened 111 passengers and crew, according to the most up-to-date data.
The 99 passengers and 12 crew members that were taken ill were testing on board the ship for norovirus using a rapid test kit.
This will be the sixth cruise ship outbreak investigated by CDC officials this year, five of the outbreaks have been confirmed as being caused by norovirus.
In response to the outbreak, Princess Cruises’ 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.
Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, 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, anddiarrhea and to throw up.
Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths.