Norovirus hits Holland America's Zuiderdam

The ms Zuiderdam began her inaugural season in 2002 as the first ship in the Vista-class series. This ship has recently been hit by a bad case of norovirus. As recorded by Gene Sloan at the USA TODAY Cruise Log Blog, more passengers than initially thought fell ill on the Zuiderdam’s latest cruise. The 1. The safety and well-being of guests and crew is the cruise industry’s highest priority.

I have addressd the norovirus in the past, but I will post some facts about the norovirus again (in case you missed it.)

The safety and well-being of guests and crew is the cruise industry’s highest priority.

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the cruise lines have the highest sanitation standards in the world. Rigorous cleaning procedures are in place to disinfect and sanitize public areas including door handles, railings and elevator buttons. According to Dave Forney, chief of CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program, “Cruise lines [also] work meticulously and effectively to actually break the cycle of transmission during most cruises.”

The safety and well-being of guests and crew is the cruise industry’s highest priority.

Norovirus facts from the CDC

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis and can be found worldwide.

Norovirus is also found in hospitals, day care centers, nursing homes and schools.

When a reported increase in norovirus cases on land happen there is usually an increase in norovirus incidents aboard cruise ships.

The CDC estimates that 23 million people in the United States, or 8% of the population, contract norovirus each year (2006). In contrast, less than one percent of all cruise guests are affected by norovirus annually.

There are simple preventative measures that can be taken to decrease the risk of norovirus:

People can become infected with norovirus in several ways, including eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus, or touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

The most preventative measure guests can take to effectively prevent this temporary but uncomfortable condition is to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water.

To reduce the risk of contracting illness from sources of unsafe food and drink, travelers should select food with care, drink bottled beverages from trusted sources, eat well cooked foods, and avoid ice and salads.

Guests who experience symptoms should follow the medical staff’s guidance to prevent the spread of illness. Norovirus symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps and may last one to two days. The CDC advises travelers who become sick to drink fluids to counter dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. The most common means of transmission is person-to-person contact.

For additional information, including more on norovirus and proper hand-washing techniques, please visit the CDC Web site at or the Vessel Sanitation Program’s Web site at

  1. I still remember the CDC says Holland America has sent additional staff to the Zuiderdam to help clean and disinfect it. The line also delayed the ship’s departure on Monday 10 Nov 2008 to allow for extra cleaning. CDC officials boarded the ship Monday, and CDC is now testing stool samples to determine whether the outbreak is indeed norovirus. The site remind me once again.

    Social media

Share on Social Media