Investigation Update on the Sun Princess

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises

Cruise Ship: Sun Princess

Voyage Dates: July 8-21, 2012

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 201 of 1918 (10.48%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 15 of 836 (1.79%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Princess 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,
  • Provided additional staff and time for thorough public and accommodation super-sanitization cleaning and disinfection during their 35 hours in port,
  • Planned and executed staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests,
  • Executed plans for terminal and transport infection control procedures, and
  • Consulted with CDC on intensified sanitation procedures during their planned extended port call in New York, NY.

Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Manhattan, NY, on July 20, 2012, to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Stool specimens were sent to a Health Canada lab in Halifax on 18 July 2012 and the cause of the outbreak was determined to be Norovirus. Additional specimens were sent to the CDC lab for testing and genome sequencing.

Page last reviewed: July 18, 2012 (archived document)