Investigation Update on the Ruby Princess
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Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Cruise Ship: Ruby Princess
Voyage Dates: February 26 – March 4, 2012
Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 129 of 3147 (4.10%)
Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 9 of 1179 (0.76%)
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,
- Modified self-service food operations and delivery to limit opportunity for exposure on the next cruise,
- 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 an extended period between disembarkation and embarkation,
- Consulted with CDC on plans for:
- Next cruise passenger notification procedures, including the planned delayed embarkation due to intensified sanitation procedures,
- Disembarkation plans for active cases,
- Embarking guest staging area, terminal and transport infection control procedures.
Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on March 4, 2012, to conduct a targeted environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Stool specimens were sent to the CDC lab for testing.