The Coral Princess arrived in Los Angeles today with 71 of the 1,958 cruise passengers aboard the Princess Cruises’ ship stricken with norovirus symptoms of nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the noro-infected passengers comprise 3.63% of the total passenger population on the ship. 6 of 881 crew members are also infected.
The CDC determined the the gastrointestinal outbreak to be norovirus. Unfortunately, the CDC was unable to conclude where the norovirus came from. I am not aware of a single time when the CDC has pinpointed the cause of a cruise ship disease outbreak. The public is left with the "blame game" of wondering whether the cruise ship food or water was contaminated, or the outbreak was caused by a sick galley worker, or was brought aboard by sick passengers and then spread because of inadequate hygiene and poor cleaning procedures.
Last year, Time magazine titled The 13 Worst Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships. The overall winner of Time’s top 13 list was Princess Cruises which had five outbreaks on its brand alone: Crown Princess (January 2010) with 396 ill; Crown Princess (February 2012) – 363; Ruby Princess (March 2013) – 276; Coral Princess (February 2009) – 271; and Sun Princess (July 2012) – 216.
The Coral Princess has been one of the Princess cruise ships most likely to be infected with norovirus. Princess and Holland America Line historically have the sickest cruise ships in the cruise industry’s fleet.
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Photo Credit: "Coral Princess – IMO 9229659 (2937202430)" by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA – Uploaded by Navigans. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –