Over 172 passengers and crew have fallen ill with the stomach sickness Norovirus while on board a Princess Cruises ship which sailed on a month-long holiday to Tahiti and Hawaii.
Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug in the UK, is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans. It affects people of all ages.
The British-American owned Crown Princess is now back in California, where it was greeted at San Pedro, the port for the city of Los Angeles, by officials for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the CDC website, a total of 145 passengers and 14 crew have reported falling ill since the ship sailed last month. Tests confirmed they had Norovirus, also known as winter vomiting disease, a gastrointestinal illness which causes sickness and diarrhea.
The nationality of the 4,169 people on board is not known. In the UK, holidays with Princess Cruises,formerly P&O Cruises, are sold by Thomas Cook.
In a statement the company said: “Over the last few days, the ship began seeing an increased number” of Norovirus cases.
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“We have enacted our stringent disinfecting protocols, which includes an extensive deep cleaning in Los Angeles on Sunday before the ship embarks on its next voyage.”
It is the second time the Crown Princess has experienced a Norovirus outbreak this year, with 150 people falling ill on board in April, and the fourth since 2012.
The CDC said Princess Cruises was taking active steps to stop further contagion, including a deep clean of the vessel, disinfection and by encouraging proper hand hygiene and case reporting.
The Crown Princess’ journey had already been delayed by a day after a member of the crew suffered what was described as a “serious medical condition” on board, forcing the ship to return several hundred miles to Tahiti on November 10.
They received emergency surgery during a life-saving procedure, and are expected to make a full recovery.
The incident was not connected to the Norovirus outbreak.
*From its humble beginnings as a transportation enterprise in the nineteenth century, the modern cruise ship industry now serves millions of passengers each year. A significant proportion of the activity conducted by cruise ship personnel includes the preparation, service and preservation of food items.
Therefore, sanitation policies and practices are of utmost importance aboard these vessels. Because of the potential for the spread of communicable food-borne diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exercise a great deal of authority over the industry.
It has therefore promulgated voluntary guidelines based heavily upon the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code, to which the vast majority if not all of the American cruise lines adhere.
This discusses the history and development of the cruise ship industry, the structure and function of the Vessel Sanitation Program, and the potential liability that the cruise lines may face as the industry expands and gastroenteritis outbreaks increase in frequency.
Over 172 Princess Cruises Passengers Contagious With Norovirus .