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Investigation Update on the Celebrity Equinox

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

Cruise Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Voyage Dates: February 13 – February 23, 2015

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 142 of 2896 (4.89%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 8 of 1209 (0.66%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Celebrity Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Making announcements to notify onboard passengers and crew of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage good hand hygiene,
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing by CDC,
  • Making twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Sending corporate management public health, hotel, housekeeping team to assist the onboard management with infection control response plan,
  • Is consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Fort Lauderdale, FL on February 23, 2015, including:
    • providing additional cleaning crew to complete a thorough public and accommodation super-sanitization cleaning and disinfection,
    • planning staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests, and
    • planning for sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.

Three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist will board the ship in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) on February 23, 2015 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens are being collected and will be tested by CDC to determine the causative agent for this outbreak.

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