Outbreaks of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and seasonal influenza A (H3N2) on cruise ship

Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Nov;16(11):1731-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1611.100477.


To determine the extent and pattern of influenza transmission and effectiveness of containment measures, we investigated dual outbreaks of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and influenza A (H3N2) that had occurred on a cruise ship in May 2009. Of 1,970 passengers and 734 crew members, 82 (3.0%) were infected with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, 98 (3.6%) with influenza A (H3N2) virus, and 2 (0.1%) with both. Among 45 children who visited the ship's childcare center, infection rate for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 was higher than that for influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Disembarked passengers reported a high level of compliance with isolation and quarantine recommendations. We found 4 subsequent cases epidemiologically linked to passengers but no evidence of sustained transmission to the community or passengers on the next cruise. Among this population of generally healthy passengers, children seemed more susceptible to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 than to influenza (H3N2) viruses. Intensive disease control measures successfully contained these outbreaks.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / isolation & purification*
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / isolation & purification*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quarantine
  • Ships