for Cruise Research
centre for research and for
O'Mahony, MC; Noah, ND; Evans, B; Harper, D; Rowe, B.
Gastroenteritis on a Passenger Cruise Ship,"
of Hygiene, 1986, 97:2
In an outbreak of
gastroenteritis on board a cruise ship 251
passengers and 51 crew were affected and consulted the ship 's surgeon
during a 14-day period. There was a significant association between
consumption of cabin tap water and reported illness in passengers.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli were isolated from passengers and crew
and coliforms were found in the main water storage tank. Contamination
of inadequately chlorinated water by sewage was the most likely source
of infection. A low level of reported illness and late recognition of
the outbreak delayed investigation of what was probably the latest in a
series of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness on board this ship.
There is a need for a national surveillance program which would monitor
the extent of illness on board passenger cruise ships as well as a
standard approach to the action taken when levels of reported illness
rise above a defined level.