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Investigation Update on the Norwegian Star

Investigation Update - May 22, 2006

Norwegian Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Norwegian Star, for the 7 day voyage completed on May 21, 2006, (sailing dates: 5/14 -5/21/2005) in Seattle, WA.

On May 19, Norwegian Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Norwegian Star passengers and crew members were experiencing gastrointestinal illness symptoms. On May 21, the ship’s medical staff reported that 115 of 2388 (4.82%) passengers and 12 of 1063 (1.13%) crew members were ill. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting. On May 21, a CDC representative boarded the ship in Seattle to conduct an onboard environmental investigation and provide recommendations.

The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfection procedures. Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus. The ship sent daily updates to CDC until the number of ill people returned to expected levels (voyage with sailing dates: 5/28/06-6/4/06).