The First Diarrhea Outbreak on Cruise Ship in Taiwan, 2016

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20170328.33(6).002

Yu-Jia Huang, Yu-Hsuan Lin, Jiun-Shian Kuo, Jer-Jea Yen

2017 Vol.33 NO.6

Correspondence Author: Yu-Hsuan Lin

  • Taipei Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


A cruise ship reported that there were over hundred gastrointestinal (GI) illness cases on board on March 27, 2016, and would arrive at Port of Keelung on the next morning. The quarantine authority of Port of Keelung immediately communicated with the ship doctor to clarify the outbreak on board. Then, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control notified the related agencies, including the competent authorities of Custom, Immigration, Quarantine and Security (CIQS), who are responsible for passenger clearance service at Port of Keelung. While the cruise arrived, on-board quarantine was carried out by quarantine officers, all port staff were well-educated and with appropriate personal protective equipment. The frequency of disinfection at passenger terminal was increased.

This is the first large-scale diarrhea outbreak on cruise ship in Taiwan. Since cruise ships are considered as high-risk environment for the spread of communicable diseases, we suggest establishing quarantine policies for cruise ships. In addition, in order to identify pathogens early and assist ships to conduct proper control measures, we recommend equipping rapid test kits at quarantine authority for frequently encountered pathogens on board. Furthermore, in this event, we proved that Port of Keelung has definitely met the core capacity requirements of WHO IHR 2005.

Keywords:Cruise ship, Quarantine, Norovirus, Outbreak