A gastrointestinal disease outbreak aboard the Holland America Line (HAL) Koningsdam cruise ship has sickened 110 passengers and crew members, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC found that 98 of 2,522 (3.89%) guests and 12 of 961 (1.25%) crew member have become ill with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting during the current cruise on the HAL ship which began its voyage on February 17, 2024.

Stool samples tested by the CDC were found to contain norovirus.

This is the third disease outbreak this year involving a cruise ship. The Celebrity Constellation and Cunard’s Queen Victoria previously experiencing norovirus outbreaks which sickened 100 and 154 people respectively. There were fourteen gastrointestinal outbreaks in 2023, all caused by norovirus

Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have concluded that the most common causes of norovirus outbreaks in contaminated food or water. The common reaction of a cruise line in response to a gastrointestinal outbreak is to blame the passengers and imply that the shipborne illness was caused by passengers failing to wash their hands. But a guest can wash their hands and use hand sanitizers all day long but still become ill if the food is prepared by an infected galleyhand.

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Image credit: Norovirus – Graham Beards at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0 commons / wikimedia; HAL Koningsdam Kees Torn – KONINGSDAM, CC BY-SA 2.0 commons / wikimedia.