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Investigation Update on the Norwegian Spirit

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruise Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Voyage Dates: December 18 – 25, 2011

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 94 of 2409 (3.90%)

Number of ill crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 13 of 945 (1.38%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Norwegian Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship took the following actions:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Made announcements to both notify passengers and encourage case reporting,
  • Intensified cleaning and sanitizing,
  • Delayed embarkation to permit a thorough disinfection,
  • Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew for submission to CDC’s Calicivirus lab,
  • Made daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Distributed a pre-boarding health advisory to incoming passengers.

A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer boarded the ship on arrival in New Orleans, LA on December 25, 2011 to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluated the outbreak and response activities. Ship crew completed a full comprehensive super-sanitation turn around between disembarking and embarking passengers. Stool specimens were sent to the CDC lab for testing, which revealed that this outbreak was caused by Norovirus.