Norovirus, also known as Norwalk virus and sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting disease, is the most common cause of gastroenteritis. Infection is characterized by non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Fever or headaches may also occur.
Hawaii Department of Health Alert:
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) is closely monitoring a reported outbreak of gastrointestinal illness aboard the Queen Victoria cruise ship, which is set to dock in Honolulu on Feb. 12.
The illnesses appear to have occurred during the ship’s voyage between Florida and San Francisco from Jan. 22-Feb. 6. As of Thursday, Feb. 8, 129 passengers and 25 crew members were reported ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mitigation measures such as increased disinfecting of surfaces and isolation of ill passengers and crew have been implemented.
The cause of the illness has not been confirmed at this time, but the symptoms and spread appear to be similar to norovirus.
The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) continues to be in active communication with the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and will provide more details as they become available.
Queen Victoria is a Vista-class cruise ship operated by the Cunard Line and is named after the former British monarch Queen Victoria. The vessel is of the same basic design as other Vista-class cruise ships, including Queen Elizabeth. At 90,049 gross tonnage, she is the smallest of Cunard’s ships in operation
Cunard Cruise Line has not responded to eTurboNews, and statements are not available on their media page.
According to the New York Times, Cunard Line told them that “several guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness” on the ship, which arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday after stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, and Aruba.
The Queen Victoria was on its way to Honolulu from San Francisco on a 107-night world cruise when more than 150 people on board reported symptoms, officials said.
Cunard Line, which is based in Southampton, said in a statement to the UK media, that “several guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness” on the ship, which arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday after stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, and Aruba.
The cruise line “immediately activated their enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the well-being of all guests and crew on board and these measures have been effective,” the company said.
The ship left San Francisco for Honolulu on Wednesday and was traveling off the west coast of the United States on Thursday, according to the ship-tracking website Cruise Mapper.
Experts in Hawaii told eTurboNews it was irresponsible by Cunard to put this health burden on our Island State when the ship is only hours away from California.
In 2009 Cruise lines spread news, that Norovirus outbreaks were in the decline
Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships on the decline
Cruise ships are often linked to the occurrence of acute gastrointestinal illnesses, such as the highly contagious norovirus, due to the proximity of passengers and crew members, which leads to a higher frequency of group interaction.
Public health officials track illnesses on cruise ships so “outbreaks are found and reported more quickly on a cruise ship than on land.SOURCE: Health Authority Warning: Norovirus Outbreak on a Cunard Cruise to Hawaii BY: eTurboNews | eTN