The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that 60 passengers aboard the HAL Maasdam are ill with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
That is 5.27% of the 1,138 total passengers aboard the cruise ship.
In addition, 11 of the 578 crew members are stricken with the gastrointestinal illness.
A local CBS station is reporting on the outbreak.
The CDC hasn’t figured out whether the outbreak is due to norovirus. Unfortunately, given the short turn-around time in port for cruise ships and the agency’s limited investigation, the CDC has never determined whether a GI outbreak on a cruise ship was due to contaminated food or water versus an ill crew member versus being brought aboard by a sick passenger and then spread through poor hygiene or inadequate cleaning.
This is the seventh GI outbreak this year which falls within the U.S. CDC parameters. Only ships with more than 3% of the passengers ill and calling on a U.S. port are listed. There were 9 outbreaks in all of 2014 versus 7 in just 4 months this year. The HAL cruise ship fleet is one of the more likely locations to contract norovirus if you are a cruiser.
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Photo Credit: Andrew J Bryson Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons