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Investigation Update on the Mariner of the Seas

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Investigation Update - July 31, 2006

Royal Caribbean International reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Mariner of the Seas, for the 7 day voyage completed on July 30, 2006, (sailing dates: 7/23/2006-7/30/2006) in Port Canaveral, FL.

On July 27, Royal Caribbean contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Mariner of the Seas passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with gastrointestinal illness. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting, and preliminary screening samples were positive for Norovirus.

On July 30, the ship’s medical staff reported that during the 7 day cruise, 6 of 1206 (0.5%) crew and 248 of 3671 (6.8%) passengers had been ill. CDC staff boarded the ship in Port Canaveral to review medical logs and procedures, and to monitor the cleaning and disinfection procedures.

The ship's staff provided daily updates to CDC throughout the following voyage; and the illness levels returned to expected levels on the next voyage (ending 8/6/06). Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus.