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Investigation Update on the Independence of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Cruise Ship: Independence of the Seas

Voyage Dates: December 11 – 16, 2017

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 310 of 4,160 (7.45%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 22 of 1,398 (1.57%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line 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,
  • Delaying embarkation for the next cruise to conduct level 3 sanitation barrier, and
  • Sending members of the cruise line’s support team to assist with ongoing sanitation procedures and public health prevention measures.

CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and epidemiologist boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale on December 16 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.

Note: The gastrointestinal illness cases reported are totals for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active (symptomatic) gastrointestinal cases at any given port of call or at disembarkation.

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