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Investigation Update on the Volendam

Investigation Update - March 13, 2006

Holland America Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Volendam, for the 10 day voyage completed on March 13, 2006, (sailing dates: 3/3/2006-3/13/2006) in Port Everglades, FL.

On March 13, 2006, Holland America Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Volendam passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with gastrointestinal illnesses. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting.

On March 13, the ship’s medical staff reported that 3 of 613 (0.49%) crew were and 51 of 1412 (3.61%) passengers were ill. VSP staff boarded the ship to consult with onboard medical staff, conduct an environmental investigation, and make recommendations.

The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus. Medical staff provided daily updates to CDC throughout the next voyage (sailing dates: 3/22-4/16/2006); gastrointestinal illness cases returned back to an expected level on the following voyage.