April 14, 2015 — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that over 200 people have been sickened with Norovirus on two different cruise ships docked in San Diego, California.
Outbreaks reported on cruise ships in San Diego:
- Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Infinity: Norovirus outbreak causes vomiting and diarrhea for 106 of 2117 (5%) passengers and 6 crew members. Voyage dates March 29 – April 13, 2015.
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Legend of the Seas: Unknown illness outbreak causes vomiting and diarrhea for 114 of 1762 (6.53%) passengers and 2 crew members. Voyage dates March 30 – April 14, 2015.
In response to the outbreak, the cruise line and the crew aboard the ship have increased cleaning and disinfection procedures, collected stool samples for testing by the CDC, alerted passengers about the outbreak, and more.
Today, the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program will board the ship to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
Outbreaks of Norovirus on Cruise Ships
Over 90% of diarrheal disease outbreaks on cruise ships are caused by Norovirus. It is especially challenging to control on cruise ships because thousands of people live in close quarters, eat at communal buffets, and there is a rapid turnover of passengers between voyages.
Norovirus is also extremely contagious. Anyone can get infected. The virus can be found in stool (feces) before the person starts feeling sick and last for 2 weeks or more after they feel better.
Transmission occurs when people accidentally ingest the virus in stool or vomit from an infected person — for example, by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, or by sharing food or eating utensils with someone who is sick.
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