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Investigation Update on the Carnival Sunshine

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line

Cruise Ship: Carnival Sunshine

Voyage Dates: February 21 – March 5, 2016

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 173 of 3,001 (5.76%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 5 of 1,142 (0.44%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

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

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing,
  • Making twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Sending corporate management, hotel, and housekeeping team to assist the onboard management with infection control response plan,
  • Consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Port Canaveral, FL on March 5, 2016, including
    • planned staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests, and
    • planned sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.

A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program epidemiologist will board the ship in Port Canaveral, FL on March 5, 2016 to conduct an epidemiologic investigation and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens were collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens were sent to CDC for additional testing.