Published On: Fri, Mar 28th, 2014

CDC to assess possible norovirus outbreak on Holland America Line’s MS Maasdam

In a follow-up to a story 10 days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) will be investigating a gastrointestinal outbreak on board Holland America Line’s MS Maasdam upon its arrival into Ft. Lauderdale today.

Image/Video Screen Shot

Image/Video Screen Shot

According to the VSP, 73 passengers and crew on the cruise ship have experienced symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. The exact etiology of the cause of the outbreak remains unknown as of today.

Specifically, 65 of the 1096 passengers, or (5.93%), were reportedly taken ill, while 8 of the 569 crew (1.41%) were sickened.

In response to the outbreak, Holland America Lines and the crew aboard the ship have taken the following actions–increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan and collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew for testing.

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 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.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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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 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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  1. NewsSprocket | Race War Bio-Terror Alert Issued for NBA Playoffs says:

    […] 26, 2014: Mumps outbreak spreads beyond Ohio State to at least 69 cases (Ohio)7. March 28, 2014: Norovirus outbreak on Holland America Line’s MS Maasdam (Florida)8. March 28, 2014: Hundreds sickened with stomach bug at NJ high school (New Jersey)9. […]

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