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139 passengers, crew sickened during gastrointestinal illness outbreak on Queen Victoria cruise: CDC

Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Nearly 140 people have fallen sick during a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on a three-week Queen Victoria cruise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Cunard Cruise Line ship departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Jan. 22.

Overall, 123 passengers and 16 crew members have reported being ill during the voyage as of Thursday, according to the CDC. The cases are for the entire voyage and do not represent the number of active cases, the agency said.

The predominant symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting, the CDC said. The cause of the outbreak is unknown, according to the CDC.

There are 1,824 passengers and 967 crew members on the ship in total, according to the CDC.

In response to the outbreak, the cruise line and crew have isolated ill passengers and crew and increased cleaning and disinfection procedures “according to the ship’s outbreak prevention and response plan,” the CDC said.

“Cunard confirmed that a small number of guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness on board Queen Victoria,” Cunard said in a statement. “They immediately activated their enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all guests and crew on board.”

“Measures have been effective,” the statement continued.

The cruise is scheduled to go to San Francisco before ending in Honolulu on Feb. 12.

The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program is monitoring the situation remotely, including “reviewing the ship’s outbreak response and sanitation procedures,” the agency said.

This is the second cruise outbreak reported by the CDC so far this year. Last month, 100 people — including 92 passengers and eight crew members — were reported ill during a Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation cruise that sailed from Jan. 3 to Jan. 12. The cause was norovirus, the CDC said.

The CDC logged 14 outbreaks on cruise ships in 2023, mostly caused by norovirus.

Medical staff on cruise ships under U.S. jurisdiction must report gastrointestinal illness cases to the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program when at least 2% of passengers or crew have a gastrointestinal illness.

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