Thirty-eight passengers on a ten-day Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seven Seas Mariner voyage have been stricken with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
While no etiology has been confirmed, specimens have been collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens will be sent to CDC for further testing.
In response to the outbreak, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions: Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, collection of stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing, making multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) and considering comprehensive disinfection procedures in Vancouver, Canada.
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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