The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 172 people on a cruise ship arriving in California on Sunday contracted the very contagious norovirus during a trip that lasted almost one month.
Carnival’s Crown Princess has over 4,100 people on board, who were met by CDC staff when the ship arrived in San Pedro.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Susan Lomax” author_title=”Carnival Corp. spokeswoman”]
Over the last few days, the ship began seeing an increased number of gastrointestinal illnesses caused by norovirus. In response, we have enacted our stringent disinfecting protocols developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The ship departed almost a month ago from Los Angeles and had stops in Tahiti and Hawaii, the Chicago Tribune reported. The ship will now undergo a deep cleaning before it embarks on its next voyage Sunday night to the Mexican Riviera.
Those who will board the ship for its next cruise will be notified of the outbreak, and a CDC official on the vessel will conduct an inspection.
This is the second outbreak of norovirus on Carnival’s Crown Princess ship, part of the Princess Cruises fleet. In April, 129 people on the same ship contracted norovirus during a 7-day cruise off the Californian coast, the New York Times reported. Symptoms of the virus include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and body chills. Most people recovery within three days.
In January, over 600 people on cruise ships sailing in the Caribbean alone were sickened with norovirus, CNN reported.
Norovirus outbreaks have been reported by almost a dozen cruise lines sailing from U.S. ports over the last few years. The outbreaks are usually mild and are due to a large number of people in a small area, improper hand-washing and buffet-style dining, according to experts. There are nearly 20 million cases of norovirus in the United States every year, according to the CDC, which results in about 570-800 deaths per year.