open access

Vol 69, No 4 (2018)
Original article
Submitted: 2018-09-27
Accepted: 2018-10-04
Published online: 2018-12-19
Get Citation

Gastroenteritis outbreaks on cruise ships: are sanitation inspection scores a true index of risk?

Christopher James Taylor1
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2018.0037
·
Pubmed: 30589061
·
International Maritime Health 2018;69(4):225-232.
Affiliations
  1. Cruise Ship Physician, Woodborough, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

open access

Vol 69, No 4 (2018)
MARITIME MEDICINE Original article
Submitted: 2018-09-27
Accepted: 2018-10-04
Published online: 2018-12-19

Abstract

Background: The utility of cruise ship sanitation scores as indicators of future gastroenteritis outbreak was
investigated by means of a 5-year review of inspection scores and outbreaks of gastroenteritis as reported
under the Vessel Sanitation Programme of the United States Public Health Centers for Disease Control.
Materials and methods: Between 2012 and 2017 a total of 1197 inspections were published online, with
a mean score of 95.7 out of 100. During the same interval there were 50 separate outbreaks of acute
gastroenteritis.
Results: No significant difference was found between pre-outbreak inspection scores, mean 96.4, and
inspections that were not followed by an outbreak, mean 95.1 (z = 0.81, p = 0.42).
Conclusions: This study shows that the current format of the inspection audits carried out under the Vessel
Sanitation Programme generates scores that have no prognostic value with regard to future outbreaks of
gastroenteritis on board cruise ships.

Abstract

Background: The utility of cruise ship sanitation scores as indicators of future gastroenteritis outbreak was
investigated by means of a 5-year review of inspection scores and outbreaks of gastroenteritis as reported
under the Vessel Sanitation Programme of the United States Public Health Centers for Disease Control.
Materials and methods: Between 2012 and 2017 a total of 1197 inspections were published online, with
a mean score of 95.7 out of 100. During the same interval there were 50 separate outbreaks of acute
gastroenteritis.
Results: No significant difference was found between pre-outbreak inspection scores, mean 96.4, and
inspections that were not followed by an outbreak, mean 95.1 (z = 0.81, p = 0.42).
Conclusions: This study shows that the current format of the inspection audits carried out under the Vessel
Sanitation Programme generates scores that have no prognostic value with regard to future outbreaks of
gastroenteritis on board cruise ships.

Get Citation

Keywords

acute gastroenteritis; outbreak; Vessel Sanitation Programme; United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; cruise ships; norovirus

About this article
Title

Gastroenteritis outbreaks on cruise ships: are sanitation inspection scores a true index of risk?

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 69, No 4 (2018)

Article type

Original article

Pages

225-232

Published online

2018-12-19

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2018.0037

Pubmed

30589061

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2018;69(4):225-232.

Keywords

acute gastroenteritis
outbreak
Vessel Sanitation Programme
United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
cruise ships
norovirus

Authors

Christopher James Taylor

References (16)
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