A gastrointestinal outbreak of yet unknown etiology has sickened 80 passengers and crew on board Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Marina, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
The affected voyage from April 21 – May 7, 2015 saw nearly 6 percent of passengers and 1.5% of crew stricken with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
The CDC-VSP conducted an unannounced operational inspection of the ship in Miami on 3 May, 2015, and will continue to monitor the outbreak, providing epidemiological support as needed. Clinical specimens were collected from some of the ill persons and those will be sent to CDC for laboratory analysis and confirmation of the causative agent(s).
In response to the outbreak, Oceania Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions: Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan; making announcements to notify on board passengers and crew of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage good hand hygiene; collected stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing by CDC and making twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP.
This is the eighth cruise ship outbreak to be investigated by the CDC-VSP in 2015.
Cruise ship outbreaks are investigated by the VSP if they meet the following criteria: Are sailing on voyages from 3-21 days, are carrying 100 or more passengers, are cruise ships in which 3% or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ships medical staff during the voyage, and are gastrointestinal illness outbreaks of public health significance.