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Investigation Update on the Island Princess

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Investigation Update - June 1, 2004

Princess Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the ship, Island Princess, for the voyage completed on June 5, 2004, (sailing dates: 5/29-6/5/2004) in Whittier, AK.

On May 31, Princess Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an unusual number of Island Princess passengers were experiencing GI illness. At 5:19 p.m. ET on June 4, the ship’s medical staff reported that 375 of 2018 (18.58%) passengers and 50 of 896 (5.58%) crew members were ill. Predominant symptoms were diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and nausea.

The vessel underwent extensive cleaning and disinfection. On June 2, CDC staff boarded the vessel in Skagway, AK to conduct a vessel inspection, consult with onboard medical staff, observe cleaning and disinfection procedures, distribute a survey to determine the cause of illness, and make recommendations. Princess Cruise Line provided daily reports throughout the 2 following voyages; elevated levels of GI illnesses were reported during those voyages and returned to an expected level by the voyage 6/12/04-6/19/04.

Onboard screening tested positive for norovirus.