Summary of Outbreaks Reported by CDC

The Center for Disease Control performs unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port.

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Cruise Ship Outbreak Summary

cruise ship CDC information CDC Ship Ratings

Cruise ships participating in the Vessel Sanitation Program are required to report the total number of gastrointestinal (GI) illness cases (including zero cases) evaluated by the medical staff before the ship arrives at a U.S. port, when sailing from a foreign port. A separate notification is required when the GI illness count exceeds 2% of the total number of passengers or crew onboard. The data below were obtained from these surveillance reports and from CDC-led investigations. The GI illness cases reported are totals for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active (symptomatic) GI cases at any given port of call or at disembarkation.

Cruise ship outbreak updates are posted when they meet the following criteria:

• Fall within the purview of VSP (see about VSP),
• Are sailing on voyages from 3-21 days,
• Are carrying 100 or more passengers,
• Are cruise ships in which 3% or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ships medical staff during the voyage, and

• Are gastrointestinal illness outbreaks of public health significance.



Cruise Line Cruise Ship Sailing Dates   Causative Agent
Princess Cruises Crown Princess 1/8 - 1/18   Norovirus
Oceania Oceania Riviera 2/12 - 2/22   Norovirus



Cruise Line

Cruise Ship

Sailing Dates

Causative Agent

Princess Cruises

Star Princess

4/29 - 5/14


Oceania Cruises

Oceania Marina

4/21 - 5/7


Holland America Line

ms Maasdam

4/17 - 5/1


Princess Cruises

Coral Princess

4/12 - 4/27


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Legend of the Seas

3/30 - 4/14


Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Infinity

3/29 - 4/13


Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Pearl

3/26 - 4/6


Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Equinox

2/13 - 2/23


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Grandeur of the Seas

1/24 - 2/3


Update 2/25/16



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 E. Coli
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
Explore of the Seas 1/21 - 1/31 Norovirus
Norwegian Cruise
Norwegian Star 1/5 - 1/19 Norovirus
Updated: 1/21/15
2013     2012      



The following links provide additional resource information about gastrointestinal illness outbreaks on land and at sea.

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is so widespread that only the common cold is reported more frequently. The CDC estimates that there are 23 million land-based Norovirus cases each year in the U.S., affecting one in 12 people, or 8% of the population. In contrast, the number of cruise passengers affected is .028% of the 8 million cruising population, or 1 in 3,600 of those who vacation aboard ships. Symptoms of norovirus include mild stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea, usually lasting between one and three days. The illness generally resolves without treatment or long-term consequences.

What is E. Coli

bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.

E. coli consists of a diverse group of bacteria. Pathogenic strains are categorized into pathotypes. Six pathotypes are associated with diarrhea and collectively are referred to as diarrheagenic E. coli.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli(STEC)—STEC may also be referred to as Verocytotoxin-producing E. coli(VTEC) or enterohemorrhagicE. coli(EHEC). This pathotype is the one most commonly heard about in the news in association with foodborne outbreaks.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)

Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)

Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)

Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)

Diffusely adherent E. coli (DAEC)

Health officials recommend that the best way cruise passengers can protect themselves from getting ill is to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

Source: CDC


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