Despite its ongoing work on the numerous cruise ship coronavirus outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to work on other cruise-related sanitation issues. Before coronavirus, the CDC’s primary cruise ship virus outbreak concern was likely norovirus, which has been responsible for several outbreaks per year. In fact, in 2019, 10 European cruise ships were struck with norovirus, which is a gastrointestinal virus that causes vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. The CDC has been hard at work looking for the sources of the outbreak and has now identified its suspect.
According to NBCNews.com, the CDC used various methods in order to help identify the source of the outbreaks and got its big break when it had sick passengers fill out a questionnaire about the foods they had consumed. NBCNews.com reports that 80% answered that they had consumed a frozen fruit and berry smoothie. When the researchers tested the berries and tropical fruit cocktail mix, the ingredients tested positive.
Upon further investigation, the CDC was able to determine that the smoothies were made with about 22,000 pounds of raspberries that the cruise line had sourced from a supplier in China in 2019, shortly before the outbreak. The World Health ORganization recalled the raspberries in 2019.