The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) in their latest update on the Carnival Cruise lines Carnival Sunshine norovirus outbreak on Mar. 4 put the number of cases at 178 passengers and crew.
This number may be adjusted in a future update and according to passengers on board the ship, the current number reported is likely artificially low. In addition, some say a respiratory illness was also ever present during the voyage.
In comments on Outbreak News Today from passengers on the above voyage, they offer some additional perspective and details of what was happening:
One passenger wrote: I was on that cruise. I had norovirus symptoms and my wife also, My wife was bed ridden with the norovirus for 2 days. The triage nurse refused to list us as norovirus victims and even to confirm that was what my wife had or treat my wife for her fever that she had. We are not in that count listed by the CDC.
Another passenger was the first to comment on a respiratory illness: We were on that cruise also. There was also a respiratory illness going around the ship too. People coughing all over everyone. My husband started 4 days before we arrived back to port Canaveral . He went to walk in clinic once we came home that day 101 fever and a upper respiratory illness. On antibiotics now.
Finally, one passenger says a fellow ill passenger left the infirmary because he didn’t want to wait: We were on the ship as well. Completely odd about Carnival “not” reporting it. When you walked into the infirmary there was a CDC form that was mandatory to fill out regardless if you had stomach or respiratory illness. My husband had it, we spent an hour in the infirmary and each and every passenger and crew member was given the CDC form to fill out. I do believe the CDC count is low as we witnessed one passenger actually leave who had symptoms because he did not want to wait to be seen. Hence, the count could be low because people chose not to self report to the infirmary. My husband was quarantined to his room, rightfully so, but that gentleman we can only assume went about his normal activities spreading germs about the ship. I was fortunate and did not catch the norovirus.
The last commenter confirmed the previous person’s observation of a respiratory illness on board the ship.