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Published On: Thu, Dec 27th, 2012

CDC investigates outbreak that sickens nearly 200 aboard Princess Cruises ‘Emerald Princess’

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program team will be boarding Princess Cruises’ “Emerald Princess” as it arrives in Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 27 to investigate an outbreak of yet unknown etiology, which has sickened nearly 200 passengers and crew.

According to health officials, a total of 166 passengers and 30 crew were sickened with the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, resembling norovirus. The voyage dates for the cruise were from Dec. 17 to Dec. 27.

The CDC said the cruise ship took the following actions in response to the outbreak to include cleaning and sanitizing, making announcements to notify passengers and crew and to encourage hand hashing, collecting stool samples for laboratory analysis and reporting twice daily to CDC officials.

This outbreak follows a norovirus outbreak reported aboard a “Crown Princess” cruise destined for Galveston, TX. More than 100 passengers and crew were sickened in this outbreak, according to a Chron.com report earlier this week.

Norovirus is a highly contagious illness caused by infection with a virus of the same name. It is often called 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 andwater, 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, and it is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in the United States.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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  1. [...] on two cruise linersTelegraph.co.ukSuspected norovirus hits 400 on two Christmas cruisesFRANCE 24CDC investigates outbreak that sickens nearly 200 aboard Princess Cruises …The Global DispatchMedical Daily -Geekosystem -TVNZall 282 news [...]

  2. [...] yesterday, The Global Dispatch reported on an outbreak on Princess Cruises’ “Emerald Princess”,  in which 196 passengers and crew were sickened with a gastrointestinal illness resembling [...]

  3. [...] spokeswoman said Wednesday.Another cruise ship outbreak: 200 sick on Emerald PrincessExaminer.comCDC investigates outbreak that sickens nearly 200 aboard Princess Cruises …The Global [...]

  4. [...] spokeswoman said Wednesday.Another cruise ship outbreak: 200 sick on Emerald PrincessExaminer.comCDC investigates outbreak that sickens nearly 200 aboard Princess Cruises …The Global [...]

  5. [...] with 123 passengers and crew members becoming sick, a cruise line spokeswoman said Wednesday.CDC investigates outbreak that sickens nearly 200…The Global [...]

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