It’s that Noro time of year; Veendam outbreak eyeballed by CDC as Eden not a paradise for passengers

 

Bikers are cruisers too! This Harley club found that they could book their bikes too, not in their luggage, but in the cargo hold of the ship, which they drove on board. The cost for bringing each member of this club was about $300 each over the cost of the cruise. When the ship arrived in each port, the members of the club would roll off on shore and meet a host club which would tour them around and arrange a great lunch. Nice way to cruise! This group is seen loading onto the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas in Bermuda. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

Bikers are cruisers too! This club found that they could book their bikes too, not in their luggage, but in the cargo hold of the ship, which they drove on board. The cost for bringing each member of this club was about $300 each over the cost of the cruise. When the ship arrived in each port, the members of the club would roll off on shore and meet a host club which would tour them around and arrange a great lunch. Nice way to cruise! This group is seen loading onto the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas in Bermuda. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

 

Pacific Eden photo courtesy of Maritime Matters

Pacific Eden photo courtesy of Maritime Matters

It may not be fair to blame the Veendam for the Norovirus outbreak currently underway.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the vomiting and diarrhea disease commonly associated with cruise ships and nursing homes has been circulating in California for much of December of 2015.

If this plate is in front of you at the buffet, you have to ask yourself. Did the person in front of you in the line wash their hands after using the restroom and do so with soap and water for at least twenty seconds? If not, you could pick up the Norovirus from an infected person by handling the same serving utensils.  THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

If this plate is in front of you at the buffet, you have to ask yourself. Did the person in front of you in the line wash their hands after using the restroom and do so with soap and water for at least twenty seconds? If not, you could pick up the Norovirus from an infected person by handling the same serving utensils. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

‘Winter vomiting disease’ on the rise in California, officials say

From the LA Times: 

In the United States, norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis and is responsible for about 20 million illnesses each year. Between 570 and 800 deaths are reported annually, health officials said.

The illness occurs more frequently in the winter and is so distinctively associated with vomiting that it was given the nickname “winter vomiting disease,” Schaffner said. However, it has also been called the “cruise ship virus.”

One of California’s first outbreaks this year occurred in May, when several patrons and employees at the Sky Room, an upscale Long Beach restaurant, fell ill. The business closed for four days to sanitize the restaurant and bar.

The disease struck again in August at a Ventura County Chipotle restaurant, where an outbreak was believed responsible for sickening more than 60 customers. Managers were forced to shut down the restaurant, throw out the remaining food and disinfect all surfaces.

Most recently, a norovirus outbreak may have sickened as many at 50 students at Chapman University. The gastrointestinal illness was first reported Dec. 2 by several students and grew rapidly.

The Orange County Health Care Agency investigated the cause of the outbreak and one source could have been the school’s only cafeteria, the agency said. The cafeteria was closed and disinfected, the campus was swept down, and the bathrooms and common areas were also cleaned.

In addition to washing hands after every bathroom visit, health officials urged Californians to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. Officials also said residents should clean and disinfect food preparation equipment and surfaces, and thoroughly cook all meats, fish and poultry.

Unfortunately, one means of trying to prevent illness that many Californians have adopted in recent years will not fend off the virus.

“Hand sanitizers,” Smith said, “are not effective against norovirus.” ....MORE

Investigation Update on the Veendam

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Cruise Ship: Veendam

Voyage Dates: December 20 – 27, 2015

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 57 of 1,429 (3.99%)

The way a cruise vacation should be: snorkeling, water sports, beaches and great weather. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

The way a cruise vacation should be; snorkeling, water sports, beaches and great weather. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 10 of 588 (1.70%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Unknown

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Holland America Line and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Collecting stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases for testing,
  • Making twice daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Consulting with CDC on plans for their comprehensive sanitation procedures in San Diego, CA on December 27, 2015, including:
    • planned staged disembarkation for active cases to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well guests, and
    • planned sanitation of terminal and transport infection control procedures.

A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer will board the ship in San Diego, CA on December 27, 2015 to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens have been collected and will be sent to CDC for testing.

Pacific Eden cruise ship rocked by claims it is a floating sick bay

From Sydney Morning Herald:

Passengers aboard P&O’s newly-launched cruise liner say it is anything but a Pacific Eden, with a gastrointestinal outbreak affecting a number of passengers ahead of its return to Sydney on Monday.

The ship Pacific Eden, which docked in Sydney on Monday morning, has been accused of being a “floating disaster” and some passengers are seeking a refund.

Several passengers have contacted the Herald, claiming a norovirus gastrointestinal outbreak has affected a large number of passengers.   MORE

The CDC are the health police, charged with determining the cause and type of illnesses which inflict large groups of people. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

The CDC are the health police, charged with determining the cause and type of illnesses which inflict large groups of people. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

Noro Outbreaks Listed by CDC

2015
Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates Causative Agent
Holland America Line Veendam 12/20 – 12/27 Unknown
Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess 12/13 – 12/20 Norovirus
Oceania Cruises Oceania Riviera 11/18 – 12/2 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Star Princess 4/29 – 5/14 Norovirus
Oceania Cruises Oceania Marina 4/21 – 5/7 Norovirus
Holland America Line ms Maasdam 4/17 – 5/1 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Coral Princess 4/12 – 4/27 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Legend of the Seas 3/30 – 4/14 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Infinity 3/29 – 4/13 Norovirus
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Pearl 3/26 – 4/6 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Equinox 2/13 – 2/23 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Grandeur of the Seas 1/24 – 2/3 Norovirus
Holland America logo on the funnel of the Zaandam. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

Holland America logo on the funnel of the Zaandam. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

2014
Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates Causative Agent
Princess Cruises Crown Princess 10/18 – 11/16 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Crown Princess 4/5 – 4/12 Norovirus and Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Grandeur of the Seas 4/5 – 4/12 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Grandeur of the Seas 3/28 – 4/5 Norovirus
Holland America Line ms Maasdam 3/2 – 3/28 Unknown
Holland America Line ms Veendam 2/8 – 2/22 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess 1/25 – 2/1 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Explorer of the Seas 1/21 – 1/31 Norovirus
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star 1/5 – 1/19 Norovirus
Explorer of the Seas docked at Bermuda

Explorer of the Seas docked at Bermuda.  THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

2013
Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates Causative Agent
Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Gem 11/16 – 11/25 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruise Lines Celebrity Summit 9/21 – 10/5 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruise Lines Celebrity Millennium 04/25 – 05/10 Norovirus
Crystal Cruises Crystal Symphony 04/29 – 05/06 Norovirus
Holland America Line Veendam 04/13 – 05/04 Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Solstice 04/08 – 04/25 Norovirus
Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Infinity 03/17 – 04/01 Norovirus
Princess Cruises Ruby Princess 03/03 – 03/10 Norovirus
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Vision of the Seas 02/25 – 03/08 Norovirus
A Princess ship docked at the outside terminal on Curacao. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

A Princess ship docked at the outside terminal on Curacao. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

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