Investigation Update on the Celebrity Solstice
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Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises
Cruise Ship: Celebrity Solstice
Voyage Dates: November 28 – December 11, 2011
Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 128 of 2730 (4.69%)
Number of ill crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 11 of 1211 (0.91%)
Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea
Causative agent: Norovirus
Actions: In response to the outbreak, Celebrity Cruises and the crew aboard the ship have taken the following actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
- Made announcements to both notify onboard passengers of the outbreak and encourage case reporting,
- Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew for submission to the CDC lab,
- Made twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
- Arranged for additional staff and time for thorough super-sanitation cleaning and disinfection during an extended period between disembarkation and embarkation, and
- Consulted with CDC on plans for:
- Next cruise passenger notification procedures and draft letter, which was sent to passengers on the following voyage prior to their embarkation day, about this outbreak and the planned delayed embarkation schedule, and
- Disembarkation plans for active cases, terminal and transport infection control procedures.
Three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 11, 2011 to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. The crew completed a full, comprehensive super-sanitation barrier between disembarking and embarking passengers, and remained in contact with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program for follow-up and monitoring into the next voyage. Stool specimens were sent to the CDC lab for testing, which revealed that the causative agent in this outbreak was Norovirus.