The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today that norovirus has been confirmed as the causative agent in outbreak on three additional voyages–Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Constellation and Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox’s March 9–March 18, 2023 voyage had 136 illnesses among passengers and crew.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation March 6–March 17, 2023 voyage had 96 passengers and crew sickened with norovirus.
Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess February 26–March 5, 2023 voyage had 318 cases of vomiting and diarrhea from norovirus.
In 2023 to date, nine cruise ship voyages have had outbreaks investigated by the CDC. Four had norovirus as the etiology, while the other five remain unknown.
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.
The CDC VSP conducts investigations if 3.0% of the ship’s passengers or crew members have GI illness, OR if an unusual GI illness pattern or characteristic is found (even if the illness rate is less than 3%).
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