Meningitis Outbreak Hits MSC Cruise Ship

Mike Schuler
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October 8, 2012

MSC Orchestra

Four crew members from an MSC cruise ship are being treated for bacterial meningitis infections, Italian officials have confirmed.

According to Italy’s ANSA new agency, four crew members from the MSC Orchestra were admitted to a hospital in the Italian port of Livorno on Sunday following the end of a cruise.

Two of the crew members, a 47-year-old Italian man and a 32-year-old Indonesian, were admitted into the hospital’s intensive care unit. The latter was said to have been in critical condition. The two other crew members have been placed in the hospital’s infectious diseases unit.

The ship reportedly left Livorno late Sunday on another cruise.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord usually caused by an infection from a virus or bacteria. The germs that cause bacterial meningitis can be contagious although not as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu, according to the CDC.

In the United States, about 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis, including 500 deaths, occurred each year between 2003–2007, CDC stats show.

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