October 9, 2002
Passengers last week on Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun were afflicted with an as-yet unidentified gastrointestinal illness. Ship's officers, who reported the outbreak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as required when more then two percent are affected, said 79 travelers visited the Sun's onboard medical center. Symptoms included nausea, stomach cramps and mild diarrhea and the "flu" lasted, for about 24 hours. NCL comped the visits to the medical center. The CDC sent a team of epidemiologists and environmental health officers onboard to collect samples, which they took back to their lab to investigate. At this point, the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program chief Dave Forney reports they have not determined the cause. Interestingly -- and perhaps luckily -- no crew members on the voyage, which carried 2,003 passengers and 946 employees, got sick which may inhibit its spread to folks sailing this week's Western Caribbean itinerary. Indeed, NCL staffers report that just one passenger on the current trip has shown symptoms.