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Published On: Wed, Jan 24th, 2018

Norovirus outbreak sickens dozens on Island Princess

Nearly 80 passengers and crew on board a recent Princess Cruises’ Island Princess voyage were stricken with diarrhea due to norovirus, according to federal health officials.

Norovirus Image/CDC

The trip set to arrive at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida today began on Jan. 9.

In response to the outbreak, Princess Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing, and
  • Making twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to Vessel Sanitation Program.

Three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist will board the ship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 24, 2018, to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens were collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens will be sent to CDC for additional testing.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritisstomach flu, and food poisoning.

The symptoms include nausea,vomitingdiarrhea, 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.

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 is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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