95 passengers and 7 crew members aboard Celebrity Equinox cruise ship have reported being ill with norovirus-like symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.
In response to the outbreak, the ship’s owner and operator Celebrity Cruises is returning the ship carrying 2,896 passengers and 1,209 crew to Port Everglades, Florida, where three CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and one epidemiologist will board the ship on February 23 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.
Specimens are being collected and will be tested by CDC to determine the causative agent for this outbreak.
According to CDC, norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths.
Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Celebrity Cruises