So far 158 (5.25%) passengers and 14 (1.21%) of crew members have reported ill during the current cruise and the specimens tested positive for the norovirus. Plans have been made to send the specimens to the CDC lab. The predominant symptoms of the norovirus are vomiting and diarrhea.
Princess Cruises has increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention plan. Announcements are being made to passengers to encourage hand hygiene as well as report any illness that they may have.
An intensified cleaning and sanitization will take place when the ship arrives in San Pedro on November 16, 2014. Disembarkation will be in stages to help keep the virus from spreading. The terminal will also undergo an increased cleaning and sanitation.
The Norovirus is easily spread when there are large groups of people confined to small areas such as cruise ships, dormitories, hospitals, and school rooms. Passengers who do come down with the norovirus are confined to their staterooms to keep the illness from spreading.
This is one benefit to booking a balcony cabin as passengers can still enjoy a limited cruise experience as compared to those in inside staterooms.
This is the first norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship since early April when the same cruise ship, the Crown Princess, had a smaller outbreak with 150 passengers and crew members becoming ill.
Cruise Fever will continue to monitor this latest outbreak and will update this page as more information becomes available.
The Crown Princess is a 3,080 passenger cruise ship that entered Princess Cruises’ fleet in 2006. This 113,000 gross ton ship is currently on a 28 night cruise to Hawaii, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Somoa.
Photo credit: Wikipedia