Norovirus on the Caribbean Princess – NoroCORE Food Virology

Norovirus on the Caribbean Princess

A cruise ship at seaThere is another presumed norovirus outbreak on a cruise ship this week, this time the Caribbean Princess.

165 passengers and 11 crew out of over 4,200 people on board have reportedly fallen ill with gastrointestinal signs over the course of the cruise.  The company has reported that only five people currently have symptoms.

The ship left on January 25th for the western Caribbean and was scheduled to return this Saturday, but came into port in Pasadena, Texas late last night. According to a spokesperson from Princess Cruises, the vessel returned early on account of dense fog that could be closing the port over the weekend.

Nevertheless, the passengers are to be disembarking the ship this morning and representatives from the CDC will be boarding the ship to observe the sanitation process before the vessel is scheduled to begin its next cruise tomorrow.  Samples have been sent off for formal testing, and preliminary tests performed on the Caribbean Princess have been positive for norovirus.

As about 4% of those on the ship are said to have been affected, this is a much smaller outbreak than the one on the Explorer of the Seas, which based on reports had around 16% affected and is one of the largest cruise ship disease outbreaks the CDC has seen in the last twenty years.

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