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Hundreds Sick on Two Cruise Ships Hit by Suspected Norovirus

EMSL Analytical offers PCR testing services to quickly identify norovirus to prevent illness and outbreaks.


Cinnaminson, NJ, January 2, 2013
Last month, ABC News reported that two different luxury cruise ships recently experienced outbreaks believed to be caused by norovirus.  Several hundred passengers and crew were reported to have fallen ill on both ships from the highly contagious virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Noroviruses (genus Norovirus, family Caliciviridae) are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, non-enveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. The most common symptoms of acute gastroenteritis are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Norovirus is the official genus name for the group of viruses previously described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV).  Noroviruses spread from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Outbreaks can happen to people of all ages and in a variety of settings.” 
Norovirus illness often begins suddenly and can make infected people feel very sick, with stomach cramping, vomiting and diarrhea. Infections are usually not life threatening and most people recover within a few days.  More severe causes of the infection are possible, particularly in young children, the elderly and people with other health conditions.
“The virus is even capable of being transmitted by air if dried vomit particles become airborne,” stated Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading environmental testing laboratory.  “To prevent outbreaks, such as what just occurred on the cruise ships, it’s important to be able to quickly identify the cause of an illness.  EMSL is capable of analyzing environmental samples for norovirus utilizing PCR techniques which provides for rapid and highly accurate results.”
EMSL has sponsored a video about the norovirus that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for norovirus or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please contact EMSL Analytical at, call (800)220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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