It’s that time of year again. The first norovirus episode of the winter season hit guests and crew onboard Crown Princess during its most recent cruise from Tahiti to Los Angeles.
On Sunday, the ship docked in Los Angeles and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) boarded the vessel to evaluate the situation. An aggressive disinfection program was completed onboard and within the terminal. The ship now has sailed on its next voyage.
The official CDC report on the norovirus incident said 158 of 3,009 passengers, or 5.25 percent, were ill, with 145 of those, or 4.82 percent, coming down with the symptoms during the last 15 days of the voyage.
Of 1,160 crew members onboard, 14, or 1.21 percent, became ill; of those, .95 percent fell ill within the last 15 days of the voyage.
The CDC officially lists the cause of the illnesses as norovirus. A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer boarded the ship in San Pedro, CA, on Sunday, November 16, to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
On its Web site, the CDC said Princess and the crew onboard took these actions:
- Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan
- Made announcements to notify onboard passengers of the outbreak, encouraged case reporting and encouraged hand hygiene
- Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew, tested those with an onboard rapid norovirus test (results were positive) and made plans to send them to the CDC lab
- Made multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the U.S. Vessel Sanitation Program
- Sent a corporate management team (public health, hotel and housekeeping managers) to assist the onboard management with the infection control response plan
- Alerted passengers who embarked on November 16, 2014 about the outbreak prior to their check in
- Consulted with the CDC about comprehensive sanitation procedures that occurred onboard in San Pedro, California on November 16, 2014
Here's a television news report that includes a statement from the line about the issues on the previous cruise: http://ktla.com/2014/11/16/norovirus-outbreak-on-princess-cruises-ship-headed-to-l-a-sickens-nearly-175.
Travel Agent also contacted Princess Cruises this morning for any update about the latest cruise that departed Sunday, but hasn't heard back as yet.