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Investigation Update on the ms Ryndam

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Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Cruise Ship: ms Ryndam

Voyage Dates: December 11 – 18, 2011

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 69 of 1298 (5.32%)

Number of ill crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 6 of 574 (1.05%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Holland America Line and the crew aboard the ship have taken the following actions:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures in accordance with their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Made daily announcements by the Captain to both notify 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, and
  • Consulted with CDC on plans for:
    • Informing embarking passengers on the following voyage about this outbreak and the planned delayed embarkation schedule,
    • Providing additional staff and time for thorough public and accommodation super-sanitization cleaning and disinfection during an extended period between disembarkation and embarkation,
    • Disembarkation plans for active cases, terminal and transport infection control procedures, and
    • Additional management monitoring, and documentation of planned cleaning and disinfection protocols.

A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Tampa, FL on December 18, 2011 to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluate 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.