Investigation Update on the Mercury

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

Cruise Ship: Mercury

Voyage Dates: 02/15 – 02/26

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers: 411/1,833 (22.43%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew: 32 of 843 (3.80%)

Predominant symptoms: diarrhea and vomiting

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Celebrity Cruise Lines and the crew aboard the Mercury have implemented increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan. Additionally, the cruise line is twice daily delivering reports of gastrointestinal illness (GI) and has shared response and port turnaround disinfection plans with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).

Celebrity Cruise Lines is maintaining communication with passengers to encourage case reporting. Travel agents are notifying oncoming passengers of the reported illnesses.

To date, five stool specimens have been collected and analyzed, all of which have tested positive for norovirus. CDC labs plan to collect and analyze additional samples.

Three CDC VSP staff will meet the ship upon its scheduled arrival in Charleston, SC on Friday 2/26 to evaluate the outbreak and response activities.

Page last reviewed: February 25, 2010 (archived document)