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Coronavirus Traces Lived Up To 17 Days In Cruise Ship Cabins: CDC

cruiseship march23 lt

Coronavirus traces were found on Diamond Princess cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers left, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC reported. The agency, however, added that it was not able to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces.

In a study on Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships, the CDC said, "SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted."

The new study shows that the coronavirus, which has spread across the globe taking thousands of lives, can be alive much longer than previously thought. Researchers from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease earlier found that coronavirus remained viable for up to 2-3 days on surfaces like plastic and stainless steel.

The latest CDC study examined coronavirus outbreaks aboard cruise ships the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess. Diamond Princess with 3,711 passengers was quarantined off Yokohama, Japan, in February, while Grand Princess was stranded off the San Francisco coast for several days.

During the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, Diamond Princess had the most number of coronavirus patients outside of mainland China. In the Diamond Princess, 712 passengers and crew tested positive for coronavirus, and nine died. Among those tested positive, more than 100 were American passengers.

The CDC further said, "COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread. All persons should defer all cruise travel worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Citing the unusual nature of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the CDC in early March has urged travelers to avoid long plane trips and cruise ship travels.

Health agencies have urged the public to take various precautions to stop the spreading, including frequent hand washing with soap and water, and keeping distance.

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