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Investigation Update on the Veendam

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Investigation Update - May 3, 2006

Holland America Cruise Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Veendam, for the 17 day voyage completed on April 6, 2006, (sailing dates: 4/22/2006-5/9/2006) in San Diego, CA.

On May 1, Holland America Cruise Line contacted with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report an elevated number of Veendam passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with acute gastroenteritis.

On May 9, the ship’s medical staff reported that 8 of 566 (1.41%) crew were and 67 of 1214 (5.52%) passengers were ill. The predominant symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting. On May 9, CDC staff boarded the ship to conduct an environmental investigation in San Diego.

The ship's staff implemented additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Stool specimens were collected and tested positive for norovirus. Medical staff provided daily updates to CDC; the number of ill people returned to expected levels of illness on the following voyage (voyage ending on 5/21/06).