The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vessel Sanitation Program reported on a norovirus outbreak on a recent P&O Cruises, Arcadia, voyage in an January 6 announcement.
The voyage dates were December 29, 2022–January 3, 2023.
According to officials, 84 of the 1,986 passengers (4.23%) and 10 of the 818 crew (1.22%) were affected with the predominant symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
In response to the outbreak, P&O Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to the ship’s outbreak prevention and response plan
- Collected stool specimens from passenger and/or crew gastrointestinal illness cases
- Notified embarking guests of the situation onboard and encouraged illness reporting and good hand hygiene.
VSP is monitoring the ship’s outbreak response and sanitation procedures for the current voyage.
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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