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CDC Investigates Stomach Bug Outbreak on Disney Cruise Ship Affecting Nearly 100 Passengers Onboard

May 03, 2016 12:51 PM EDT
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An environmental health officer from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) boarded the Disney Wonder cruise ship to investigate the outbreak of gastrointestinal illness last week affecting nearly 100 passengers and crew members.

According to the report from the CBS News, 92 passengers and 5 crew members that boarded the Disney Wonder showed symptoms of stomach bug, primarily vomiting. All of the people who showed signs of the gastrointestinal illness were confined to their rooms for 24 hours in order to avoid further spread of the disease.

The original CDC report states that there are 97 people onboard affected by the outbreak, but according to the report from Orlando Sentinel the numbers rise up to 145 people last Monday, with 131 of which are passengers.

Around 2,700 passengers and almost 1,000 crew members are aboard the ship when it disembarked from Miami last Wednesday. The ship returned in Miami last Sunday after cruising to Nassau, Key West and Castaway Cay.

Upon their return, CDC quickly sent an investigator to see the cause of the outbreak and get the response from the company.

The Telegraph reported that Disney Cruise Line has implemented strict cleaning and disinfecting procedures in the ship, especially on the hand rails.

All passengers aboard the ship when it left last Sunday to go to another 14-day cruise to the Panama Canal will not be allowed to serve themselves at buffet to limit their contact with food. Instead, crew members will be the one to serve the food.

"Our primary focus was on taking care of our guests and crew," said a spokesperson from Disney Line Cruise. "We have a comprehensive plan that outlines protocols for managing this kind of situation and closely follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of common stomach-related illnesses."

The last reported outbreak of stomach bug on a Disney Ship occurred last 2002, when two Disney Magic cruises that sailed out of Port Canaveral in Florida left more than 100 people onboard sick.

Most outbreaks that occurs in cruise ships are caused by nanovirus, a very contagious stomach bug that not only dangerous but also very costly.

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