Defer Cruise Travel; Inside the Princess Outbreak — CDC

The Diamond Princess seen here anchored at Yokohama Port to replenish supplies on Feb. 6 was quarantined off the coast of Japan in February after a cluster of passengers tested positive for COVID-19

CDC: Defer Cruise Travel; Inside the Princess Outbreak

Now a study suggests the virus is capable of sticking to surfaces for longer than originally thought.

Previous analysis found that the virus remained on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, although levels fell dramatically over time.

Canadian passengers onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off California were also sent to CFB Trenton after cases of COVID-19 were identified there.

However, it is worth noting that finding the RNA of the virus does not necessarily mean that the virus spreads through surfaces. "Now you're going to see 'coronavirus can live on surfaces for 17 days!' over and over, but we don't know that based on this study and for those using live virus, it's much shorter".

"Because of the lack of consistent messaging, because people had been flouting the earlier advice regarding social distancing measures, we need to move further and quickly to ensure that what we're seeing around the world doesn't mimic and occur on front doors", Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone told reporters.

Results from a peer-reviewed study in the New England Journal of Medicine published March 17.

"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", the report said.

WA has recorded its second death from COVID-19.

Perth tourism pioneer James Kwan was the first Australian to be killed by the disease after he contracted the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan.

The research looked at the efforts by health authorities in Japan and the U.S.to contain the spread of the coronavirus onboard the Carnival-owned Diamond Princess, which was quarantined for almost four weeks near Yokohama, and the Grand Princess, which docked at Oakland, California. The quarantine lasted almost a month.

In a study published by United States health officials, traces of the deadly infection were found on the deserted cabins more than two weeks after passengers evacuated the ship.

Of the 256 Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess, more than 40 tested positive for the virus and were taken to hospital in Japan.

The agency issued an unprecedented travel advisory warning Americans not to go on any cruises worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDC concluded: "Cruise ships are often settings for outbreaks of infectious diseases due to their closed environment, contact between travelers from many countries, and crew transfers between ships".

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