Paramedics Called to Port of LA After Cruise Ship Passengers Fall Ill

Rebekah Sager
December 02, 2019 - 4:51 pm
Norwegian Cruise Line

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Twice in one week paramedics had to be called out to the Port of L.A. to check on sick passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.  

About 20 passengers of the Norwegian Joy fell ill after suffering from flu-like symptoms possibly linked to the stomach bug Norovirus.

"LAFD evaluated a total of 19 patients for flu-like symptoms and all declined transport to the hospital," according to Margaret Stewart, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Dr. Aaron Hall is an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control who specializes in Norovirus, he says the virus is difficult to control in a variety of settings including a cruise ship because it's resistant to many common disinfectants.

County Supervisor Janice Hahn has called on the CDC to work with county public health officials to help prevent a larger outbreak.

"I am calling on the Center for Disease Control to work closely with our LA County Public Health officials to ensure the passenger illnesses aboard the 'Norwegian Joy' do not become an infectious disease outbreak here in the harbor area," Hahn said in a statement. "This is the second time in a week that this ship has been forced to dock at the Port of Los Angeles due to passenger illness and it raises serious concerns about the hygiene of this ship. If the ship is not cleaned to a point that ensures the health and safety of its passengers, it should not be allowed to leave dock."

Norwegian Cruise Line alleges that they implemented stringent sanitation procedures following the initial outbreak.