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Investigation Update on the Balmoral

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Cruise Line: Fred Olsen Cruises

Cruise Ship: Balmoral

Voyage Dates: April 16 – May 20, 2016

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 277 of 915 (30.27%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 9 of 520 (1.73%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Fred Olsen Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing,
  • Making multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Sent public health and sanitation manager from the cruise line corporate office to oversee and assist with implementation of the sanitation and outbreak response procedures.

Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the ship upon arrival in Baltimore, MD on April 30-May 1, 2016 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens have been collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens will be sent to CDC for additional testing.

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