SAN PEDRO (CBSLA) — Another mysterious illness has struck passengers aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, which docked at San Pedro on Sunday.
The ship docked earlier this morning at the Port of Los Angeles after several passengers fell ill. Last weekend, a similar incident occurred aboard the same ship, resulting in six passengers falling ill, of which four were transported to the hospital with gastrointestinal upset.
On Sunday, 19 patients were checked out by authorities on scene, but none were transported to the hospital, the L.A. Fire Department reported.
One of the passengers aboard the cruise ship said his son had fallen ill on the third day of the cruise. He voiced his concerns, stating that the cruise ship was not utilizing universal precautions like hand-washing when working with passengers in quarantine.
“On the third day of the cruise, he developed extreme vomiting and we had went to the guest services desk to let them know he was experiencing something,” said one passenger. “They said they’d send a doctor. So actually, a nurse came. I asked for a doctor. He checked him out … they didn’t give a diagnosis, but they gave medication.”
Another passenger said he started experiencing stomach cramps on Thursday.
“I went back to the room, I took a nap and then I started experiencing some pretty severe abdominal cramps,” he said. “I went and saw a doctor and they diagnosed me with gastroenteritis, at which point they isolated me and told me that my family would be locked with me in the room. I told them that, that wasn’t OK, and my wife didn’t accept it either. She was able to fight with them and was able to get into a separate room. Unfortunately, I lost my Thanksgiving with my family.”
Authorities on scene state that the cruise line is expected to be sanitized and will head back out Sunday night, which concerns passengers.
“It is just not sufficient sanitizing in that short amount of time and I’m concerned for people with young children, like myself. They are so susceptible, the young ones and the elderly,” said another passenger. “I just don’t think the ship should be going out.”
One passenger was told by a doctor that as many as 75 people were in quarantine.
“Also, another staff last night said that there was maybe 20 of the staff were actually sick as well,” he said. “And I think a lot of them are probably going about the ship trying to do their job, make money.”
Norwegian Cruise Line issued the following statement:
“The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority. As such, we operate at the very highest public health standards. During Norwegian Joy’s Mexican Riviera sailing, a few guests on board experienced a stomach related illness. To mitigate any impact of this rare occurrence, we implemented stringent sanitation procedures. As always, we will continue to monitor this situation.”
In addition, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn issued the following statement:
“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. 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.”