Investigation Update on the Norwegian Pearl
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Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Cruise Ship: Norwegian Pearl
Voyage Dates: March 26 – April 6, 2015
Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 145 of 2,472 (5.87%)
Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 13 of 1,062 (1.22%)
Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea
Causative agent: Norovirus
Actions: In response to the outbreak, Norwegian Cruise Line and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
- Made announcements to notify onboard passengers and crew of the outbreak, encouraged case reporting, and encouraged good hand hygiene,
- Collected stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing by CDC,
- Made twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
- Sent Norwegian Cruise Line public health personnel to join the ship at St. Thomas to assist the onboard management with infection control response plan,
- Consulted with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Miami, FL on April 6, 2015, including:
- alerting passengers for the next voyage of a delayed embarkation because of the current cruise gastrointestinal illness levels,
- early arrival plans for the current cruise to allow for early disembarkation of the current passengers,
- planning controlled disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests,
- providing additional cleaning personnel to complete a thorough public area, and stateroom cleaning and disinfection protocol implementation, and
- planning for sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.
Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers boarded the ship in Miami, FL on April 6, 2015 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens were collected and are being tested by CDC to determine the causative agent for this outbreak.