Thursday, 02 April, 2020

Coronavirus Survives 17 Days On Cruise Ship After Passengers Left

Greg Butler CDC: Defer Cruise Travel; Inside the Princess Outbreak
Deanna Wagner | 26 March, 2020, 15:26

Some crew members on board the vessel have respiratory illness and are in isolation, with the ship's parent company managing the outbreak on the ship.

Tara C. Smith, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Kent State University, told Business Insider that just because a virus' RNA was found on a surface, doesn't necessarily mean that the virus is still alive.

RNA or ribonucleic acid is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life, including viruses like COVID-19.

The findings showed that the virus survived on surfaces for far longer than was originally believed. "Now you're going to see 'coronavirus can live on surfaces for 17 days!' over and over, but we don't know that based on this study and for those using live virus, it's much shorter".

Mark McGowan, the state premier of Western Australia made his message clear that the cruise ship "needs to leave immediately" in worries that it might infect more Australians and add to the already growing number of Australia's coronavirus cases. It was less stable on copper, where no viable virus was found after four hours, and cardboard, which was clean after 24 hours, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Later in February, the Grand Princess cruise ship was also identified as the source of a separate outbreak after a passenger who previously sailed on a Feb. 11-21 voyage tested positive for coronavirus and ultimately died while the ship was already on another voyage.

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Of the 2,700 that entered Sydney, 130 were later tested positive for COVID-19. The quarantine lasted almost a month.

More than 130 people from the ship have now tested positive, and one 77-year-old female passenger died in hospital yesterday.

"The results provide key information about the stability of [the virus] and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects", the National Institute of Health said in a press release.

NSW Health will assist if "there is any indication they are not responding", Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.

The CDC concluded: "Cruise ships are often settings for outbreaks of infectious diseases due to their closed environment, contact between travelers from many countries, and crew transfers between ships". "All persons should defer all cruise travel worldwide during the Covid-19 pandemic".