Investigation Update on the Norwegian Spirit
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Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Cruise Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Voyage Dates: December 18 – 25, 2011
Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 94 of 2409 (3.90%)
Number of ill crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 13 of 945 (1.38%)
Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea
Causative agent: Norovirus
Actions: In response to the outbreak, Norwegian Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship took the following actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
- Made announcements to both notify passengers and encourage case reporting,
- Intensified cleaning and sanitizing,
- Delayed embarkation to permit a thorough disinfection,
- Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew for submission to CDC’s Calicivirus lab,
- Made daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
- Distributed a pre-boarding health advisory to incoming passengers.
A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer boarded the ship on arrival in New Orleans, LA on December 25, 2011 to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluated the outbreak and response activities. Ship crew completed a full comprehensive super-sanitation turn around between disembarking and embarking passengers. Stool specimens were sent to the CDC lab for testing, which revealed that this outbreak was caused by Norovirus.