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Investigation Update on the Sun Princess

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Investigation Update - May 16, 2005

Princess Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Sun Princess, for the voyage completed on May 16, 2005, (sailing dates: 5/9-5/16/2005) in Whittier, AK.

On May 12, 2005, Princess Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Sun Princess passengers and crew members were experiencing GI illness. On May 16, the ship’s medical staff reported that 121 of 2000 (6.05%) passengers and 4 of 852 (0.47%) crew members were ill. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

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