Cruise Ship Outbreak Hits 124
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that passengers and crew on Holland America Line’s cruise ship MS Veendam have suffered an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea. The number of passengers who have been reported being ill during the voyage is 114 out of total number of 1,273 passengers onboard (8.96 per cent). 10 crew members out of 575 (1.74 per cent) have also been reported ill. The cause of the illness is unknown.
In response to the outbreak, Holland America Line and the crew aboard the ship increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan, made announcements to passengers, collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew and made plans to send them to the CDC lab and consulted medical authorities.
Additional crew have been engaged for cleaning and passengers are being disembarked in a way that limits the potential transmission of the illness to well guests.
A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer and an epidemiologist boarded the ship on arrival in Ft. Lauderdale on February 22, 2014 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.