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Investigation Update on the Royal Princess

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Investigation Update - March 23, 2005

Princess Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Royal Princess, on a 14 day voyage completed on March 24, 2005, (sailing dates: 03/07-03/24/2005) in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

On March 18, 2005, Princess Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Royal Princess passengers and crew members were experiencing GI illness. On March 23, the ship’s medical staff reported that 38 of 1163 (3.27%) passengers and 15 of 541 (2.77%) crew members were ill. Predominant symptoms were vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfection procedures. Stool specimens were collected and tested negative for norovirus. Medical staff continued to monitor gastrointestinal illness cases; by the following voyage the number of reported cases returned to expected levels.