OutbreakNewsToday.com reports another virus outbreak on a cruise ship – this time a Princess Cruises vessel, the Island Princess.
Per the article, “according to officials, 91 passengers and crew onboard the Island Princess voyage were stricken with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
In response to the outbreak, Princess Cruises and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions that include increased cleaning and disinfection procedures to Level 3 according to their outbreak prevention and response plan; collected stool specimens from passenger and/or crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing and sent specimens to the CDC Calicivirus lab (for norovirus testing); made twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) and consulted with VSP on plans for their comprehensive sanitation cleaning procedures in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 18, 2019.”
Norovirus is a form of gastroenteritis – severe stomach flu essentially. The virus is quite contagious and is commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation – or on contaminated surfaces like serving ware, plates, glassware and food buffets.
On cruise ships, the virus can spread like wildfire. Just a few weeks ago, The Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas cruise ship cut its journey short after 475 passengers and crew members were infected with a norovirus.
This is the 3rd major report of norovirus – or potential norovirus outbreak – since the start of 2019.