Tuesday, April 14, 2015

100 Sickened on Cruise Ship Arriving in San Diego

By Mark Edward Nero

More than 100 people, including dozens of passengers and a small number of crew members, reported falling ill during a voyage of the Celebrity Infinity, a Celebrity Cruises ship that docked in San Diego on April 13 after a two-week voyage. 106 of the 2,117 passengers and five of the 964 crew members onboard the ship are suspected of having contracted the norovirus gastrointestinal illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The predominant systems reported were vomiting and diarrhea.

“One CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer and one epidemiologist boarded the ship in San Diego, CA on April 13, 2015 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities,” the Centers for Disease Conyrol said in a news release about the situation. “Specimens have been collected and have been tested by CDC to determine the causative agent for this outbreak is norovirus.”

The Celebrity Infinity primarily sails to Canada and Alaska. Previous outbreaks of gastrointestinal sickness occurred on the vessel in 2013 and 2006.

This marks the fourth outbreak of sickness this year on cruise ships calling at the US, but the first on the West Coast. The other outbreaks occurred on the Norwegian Pearl out of Miami; Celebrity Equinox in Port Everglades, Florida; and Grandeur of the Seas, which sails out of Baltimore.