Published On: Wed, Oct 2nd, 2013

Norovirus outbreak on cruise ship, ‘Celebrity Summit’ sickens at least 321

Scores of passengers and crew aboard  Celebrity Cruise Lines, Celebrity Summit have been sickened with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea due to norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).

Norovirus  Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The federal agency reports that 307 of 2112 (14.5%) passengers on board and 14 of 952 (1.5%) of the crew were stricken with the unpleasant infection during the two-week Canada/New England cruise, which departed  from Bayonne, N.J. on Sept. 21 and is expected to return their Saturday, Oct. 5.

In response to the outbreak, Celebrity Cruise 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, collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew and offloaded them in Halifax, Canada for testing by Health Canada, with results positive for Norovirus, made announcements to both notify onboard passengers of the outbreak and encourage case reporting, and made reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP twice daily.

In addition, they are consulting with CDC on plans for passenger notification procedures and turnaround plans scheduled to take place in Bayonne, New Jersey on 5 October and disembarkation plans for active cases, terminal and transport infection control procedures.

According to the CDC, Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.

The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.

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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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