CDC Reports Cruise Outbreaks Mostly Norovirus

By ,   December 11, 2017 ,   Accidents

The holiday cruise season is heading toward the New 2018 having logged less than 1 foodborne illness outbreak per month thus far this year that met the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public posting.

As of December 8, there had been 10 outbreaks involving 9 ships from 5 cruise lines, according to CDC. The percentage of travellers sickened on the voyages ranges from 3.3% on a Holland America liner to 22.8% on a Lindbald Expeditions vessel.

Holland America had the most outbreaks worth posting, according to CDC’s VSP (Vessel Sanitation Program) website. The cruise lines with outbreaks in 2017 that meet the criteria for CDC posting, along with the number of cruise passengers sickened, total number of guests onboard and the percentage of cruisers sickened are:

  • Holland America - 5 voyages, 82 of 2,143 (3.8%); 73 of 2,210 (3.3%); 167 of 2,086 (8.0%); 46 of 1,473 (3.1%); 68 of 1,480 (4.6%)
  • Princess - 2 voyages, 157 of 2,016 (7.8%); 184 of 2,957 (6.2%)
  • Celebrity - 1 voyage, 173 of 3,034 (5.7%)
  • Oceania - 1 voyage, 23 of 639 (3.6%)
  • Lindblad - 1 voyage, 13 of 57 (22.8%).

Since at least 1994, the majority of outbreaks on cruise vessels for which the cause is determined involve norovirus. For this year so far, 7 outbreaks were norovirus and 1 was C. perfringens enterotoxin. In 2 outbreaks the cause was undetermined.