Updated 03:11 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 18, 2021

Norovirus 2014 Outbreak: 172 Cruise Ship Passengers Infected

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A total of 172 passengers aboard the Crown Princess cruise ship reportedly fell ill with norovirus.

Princess Cruises' Crown Princess docked in California on Sunday following a virus outbreak. According to Sky News, the norovirus affected 158 of the 3,009 passengers and 14 of the 1,160 crew members. A health official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will investigate the incident, Sky News added.

In a report by NBC News, it was noted that the Crown Princess was supposed to return to Los Angeles on Saturday, however, the ship had to make a diversion in the Marquesas Islands after a crew member needed emergency surgery for a separate medical case.

Symptoms of norovirus

CDC noted that norovirus' symptoms are gastrointestinal in nature. These include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, headaches and body aches. Dehydration is a foreseeable complication, with presenting signs such as decrease in urination, dry oral mucous membranes and feeling of dizziness when standing.

Recovery from norovirus infection is expected within one to three days for most people.

Company spokesperson Susan Lomax said via ABC News, "As it is the cold and flu season, when the stomach flu circulates on land, we encourage all of our guests to be diligent in following the widely accepted practices of frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizers."

CDC recommendation

In response to the outbreak, CDC cited measures set to be taken by Princess Cruises. According to the report, the company is expected to perform the following (simplified):

1. Increase cleaning and disinfection procedures based on outbreak prevention and response plan.

2. Notify onboard passengers of the outbreak.

3. Encourage case reporting and hand hygiene.

4. Collect stool specimens from ill passengers and crew members.

5. Report gastrointestinal illness cases to the Vessel Sanitation Program.

6. Make plans to send corporate management public health, hotel and housekeeping team to assist the onboard management with the infection control response plan.

7. Alert passengers slated for onboard cruise on Nov. 16 about the prior outbreak

8. Consult CDC with sanitation plans

This isn't the first time the virus has spread on the same ship. CDC recorded that 152 individuals manifested symptoms in April, attributing the origin to norovirus and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infections.

The cruise ship is reportedly set to undergo deep sanitation in a San Pedro, California terminal before cruising to the Mexican Riviera.

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