CDC Confirms Spread Of 'Unknown' Outbreak Aboard Cruise Ship

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 18, 2024 - 02:35 AM

The CDC has confirmed that an "unknown" outbreak aboard a cruise ship is spreading, and has infected at least 154 people.

In an update this week, the agency said that so far 25 crew members and 129 passengers on the Carnival-owned Cunard Cruise Line's Queen Victoria have fallen ill, after an initial 15 cases were reported weeks ago. The Queen Victoria has 1,824 passengers and 967 crew members aboard.

Those fallen ill have reported "symptoms of gastrointestinal illness," however the CDC has yet to identify the exact illness.

"Cunard confirms that a number of guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness on board Queen Victoria on voyage V405 which departed Florida on [Jan. 22] and arrived in San Francisco on [Feb. 7]," said Cunard Cruise Lines in a statement to news outlets. "They immediately activated their enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all guests and crew on board and these measures have been effective."

According to CruiseMapper, the Queen Victoria is currently on a 55-day trip that will take it from Germany to Australia - with its final destination being Honolulu, Hawaii on March 4.

Last month, nearly 100 passengers aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship, the Constellation, fell ill with norovirus after departing in early January from Florida.

As the Epoch Times reports further;

Common Outbreak Source

While the CDC report still hasn’t revealed the cause of the Cunard cruise ship’s outbreak, norovirus has been the most common source of illnesses on cruise ships in recent years. The agency reported 14 illness outbreaks on cruise ships in 2023, with norovirus being listed as the causative agent in all but one of the incidents.

Last year, for example, a norovirus outbreak sickened more than 170 people on a Celebrity cruise ship, with the main symptoms being diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and headaches.

In a normal year, according to the CDC, norovirus causes between 19 million and 21 million cases of vomiting and diarrhea, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 900 deaths across the United States. The virus also is associated with about 495,000 emergency department visits, mostly in younger children, the CDC says.

If there is a new strain of the virus, the CDC says, there can be upward of 50 percent more norovirus illnesses in a given year.

The CDC’s webpage for norovirus says the virus is very contagious and generally causes vomiting and diarrhea. “Anyone can get infected and sick with norovirus. Norovirus is sometimes called the ’stomach flu‘ or ’stomach bug,’” the agency says. “However, norovirus illness is not related to the flu.”

Other than cruise lines, norovirus outbreaks often occur in health care facilities, long-term care facilities, restaurants, child care centers, and schools. Noting the association between norovirus outbreaks and cruises, the CDC says that more than 90 percent of “outbreaks of diarrheal disease on cruise ships” are caused by the virus.

“These outbreaks often get media attention, which is why some people call norovirus the ‘cruise ship virus,’” the CDC says. “However, norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships account for only a small percentage ... of all reported norovirus outbreaks. Norovirus can be especially challenging to control on cruise ships because of the close living quarters, shared dining areas, and rapid turnover of passengers.”