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From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 8, 2003

Outbreaks of Gastroenteritis Associated With Noroviruses on Cruise Ships—United States, 2002

JAMA. 2003;289(2):167-169. doi:10.1001/jama.289.2.167

MMWR. 2002;51:1112-1115

2 figures omitted

During January 1–December 2, 2002, CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which conducts surveillance for acute gastroenteritis (AGE) on cruise ships with foreign itineraries sailing into U.S. ports,1 received reports of 21 outbreaks of AGE* on 17 cruise ships. Of the 21 outbreaks, nine were confirmed by laboratory analysis of stool specimens from affected persons to be associated with noroviruses, three were attributable to bacterial agents, and nine were of unknown etiology. Seven outbreaks were reported in 2001, and of these, four were confirmed to be associated with norovirus (CDC, unpublished data, 2002). This report describes five of the norovirus outbreaks that occurred during July 1–December 2, 2002, on cruise ships.