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Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Virus Aboard Holland America's Amsterdam and Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic

  • Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Virus Aboard Holland America's Amsterdam and Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic

  • Backgrounder
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) has investigated a persistent outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among passengers and crew of the Holland America Linesí vessel, the Amsterdam, and is investigating reports of gastrointestinal illness aboard Disney Cruise Linesí Magic. The characteristics of these outbreaks are similar to other cruiseship outbreaks that CDC has investigated in the past and there is no indication that they are intentional.
  • Holland America Amsterdam
  • Laboratory analysis has confirmed that the illness is Norwalk virus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The illness usually develops within 12 to 48 hours of exposure and lasts from one to three days.
  • Passengers disembarked from the most current voyage on the morning of November 21 in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There were 1,232 passengers and 562 crew on the most recent voyage with 64 cases reported among passengers and 18 cases among the crew. Norwalk virus is among the most common causes of viral gastrointestinal outbreaks on cruise vessels. The virus is transmitted through person-to-person contact or by consuming contaminated food or water. Epidemiologic data suggest that the probable mode of transmission on the Amsterdam is person-to-person.
  • The vessel has been temporarily taken out of service for aggressive cleaning, isolation of infected crew, and other control measures by Holland America. Holland Americaís decision to take the vessel out of service and cancel the next 10-day cruise is strongly supported by CDC and CDCís Vessel Sanitation Program will continue to consult with the company during the cleaning and disinfection process.
  • Disney Magic
  • On the evening of November 21, the CDC was made aware of a reported 175 cases (163 passengers and 12 crew) of gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and/or diarrhea, on the Disney Magic. The vessel holds 2,318 passengers and 988 crew. CDC is currently working with Disney Cruise Lines to investigate these reports. The vessel is on a cruise in the Bahamas, and will reach port in Port Canaveral on November 23. The cause of the illness has not been determined, but an investigation is underway and CDC staff will board the ship when it arrives in Port Canaveral.
  • Additional information about CDCís Vessel Sanitation Program is available at information on gastrointestinal diseases is available at on Norwalk-like viruses is available at
  • CDC protects peopleís health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.
  • For more information, CDCís Vessel Sanitation Program can be reached at