Investigation Update on the Veendam
Investigation Update - January 14, 2005
Holland America Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Veendam, for the voyage completed on January 15, 2005, (sailing dates: 01/03 -01/15/2005) in Tampa, FL.
On January 12, 2005, Holland America Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Veendam passengers and crew members were experiencing GI illness. On January 14, the ship’s medical staff reported that 70 of 1236 (5.66%) passengers and 7 of 571 (1.23%) crew members were ill. Predominant symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea.
The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfection procedures. Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus. Medical staff continued to monitor gastrointestinal illness cases and send daily reports to CDC.
On the following voyage (sailing dates: 01/15/2005 – 01/29/2005) the medical staff reported 219 of 1229 (17.8%) passengers and 36 of 584 (6.2%) crew were ill. A team of CDC environmental health officers and epidemiologists boarded the vessel on January 24th in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles to conduct a vessel inspection, consult with onboard medical staff, observe cleaning and disinfection procedures, and distribute a survey to determine the cause of illness and make recommendations.
Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus. Medical staff continued to send daily updates of reported cases of gastrointestinal illness; the illness level returned to an expected level of ill people by the following voyage.