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Crown Princess undergoes extra sanitation after norovirus outbreak

Crown Princess undergoes extra sanitation after norovirus outbreak
Sunday's embarkation for Crown Princess in Los Angeles was delayed so the ship could undergo an additional disinfection following a norovirus outbreak affecting 172 passengers and crew on the last sailing, a long cruise to Hawaii and Tahiti that embarked Oct. 18.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 158 passengers of the 3,009 on board, or 5.25%, reported gastrointestinal illness during the voyage, with 145 cases (4.82%) in the past 15 days of the cruise. The number of crew reporting illness was 14 of 1,160, or 1.21%. Eleven of the crew cases occurred in the last 15 days.

The CDC said Crown Princess crew increased daily sanitation and disinfection procedures according to the Princess Cruises outbreak response plan and made multiple daily reports to the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program. A Vessel Sanitation Program officer met the ship on arrival in Los Angeles early Sunday to evaluate the outbreak and response.

A staged disembarkation for passengers with active cases was carried out to limit the opportunity of illness transmission to well travelers, and terminal and transport infection control procedures were implemented, the CDC said.

Princess alerted passengers booked on the Nov. 16 voyage of the outbreak prior to check-in, and the line provided additional cleaning personnel for an enhanced cleaning before embarkation. This delayed embarkation, which was put back to 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A phased boarding process was implemented to ease congestion in the terminal.