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Investigation Update on the National Geographic Sea Lion

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Cruise Line: Lindblad Expeditions

Cruise Ship: National Geographic Sea Lion

Voyage Dates: 05/21 - 05/28/2011

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 17 of 61 (28.87%)

Number of ill crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 6 of 24 (25.00%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Unknown

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Lindblad Expeditions and the crew aboard the ship have taken the following actions:

  • Ship failed to notify CDC as required when the passenger gastrointestinal illness level reached 2% on May 23;
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan;
  • Made announcements to both notify passengers and encourage case reporting to Chief Maid / Safety-Medical staff;
  • Requested ill passengers and non-food duty crew members to remain their cabins until symptoms had subsided for 24 hours; food duty crew members remained isolated for at least 48 hours after symptoms subsided;
  • On disembarkation, brought additional cleaning staff aboard and cleaned carpets with high temperature steam;
  • Consulted with CDC following this outbreak and elevated illness levels on next three voyages:
    • 5/28/2011 – 6/3/2011: 2 of 63 passengers (3.2%), 1 of 24 crew (4.2%)
    • 6/4/2011 – 6/11/2011: 4 of 66 passengers (6.1%)
    • 6/11/2011 – 6/18-2011: 2 of 62 passengers (3.2%)
  • Based on CDC guidance, plans for future outbreak response includes:
    • CDC required reporting procedures;
    • Additional management monitoring, documentation, specimen collection, and
    • Notification of outbreak status to embarking passengers through the distribution of pre-boarding health advisory via email, telephone calls, text messages, and indirectly through travel agents or the company website.