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Investigation Update on the Zuiderdam

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Investigation Update - January 13, 2006

Holland America Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Zuiderdam, for the 10 day voyage completed on January 7, 2006, (sailing dates: 12/30/2005-01/07/2006) in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

On January 1, 2006, Holland America Cruise Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Zuiderdam passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with gastrointestinal illness. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting.

On January 6, the ship’s medical staff reported that 33 of 814 (4.05%) crew were ill and 105 of 1888 (5.56%) passengers were ill.

CDC staff boarded the ship on January 6 to conduct a vessel inspection, consult with onboard medical staff, observe cleaning and disinfection procedures, and distribute a survey to determine the cause of illness and make recommendations.

The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Stool specimens tested positive for norovirus. Medical staff continued to monitor the illness and provide daily updates to CDC throughout the following voyage; GI illness cases returned back to an expected level (voyage ending on 1/14/06).