Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), reported Princess Cruises cruise ship Island Princess had the first reportable norovirus (see video below) outbreak on a cruise ship in 2018. Outbreaks are reportable to the CDC aboard cruise ships, “in which 3% or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ship medical staff during the voyage.”
Island Princess embarked from San Pedro, California on Tuesday, January 9 for a 15-night re-positioning cruise from the west coast to the east coast of the United States, with calls at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, and Puerto Caldera in Costa Rica before transiting the Panama Canal and calling at Cartagena, Columbia and Oranjestad in Aruba, finally arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 24.
The outbreak was reported to be from January 9 to January 24 and involved 71 or 3.26% of 2181 passengers aboard. The outbreak also included 7 of the 898 crew members aboard. Symptoms were diarrhea reportedly from “norovirus”.
In response to the outbreak, Princess 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 twice-daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to VSP.
Consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 24, 2018, including planned staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests and planned sanitation of terminal and transportation infection control procedures.
Three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 24, 2018, to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens were collected and tested onboard using a norovirus rapid test; results were positive for norovirus. The specimens were sent to CDC for additional testing.
- Island Princess Webcams
- Island Princess Cruise Ship Tracker
- Ft Lauderdale, Florida Cruise Port Schedule
- CDC Vessel Sanitation Program
Video: The Truth About Norovirus