Traces of Virus Found on Cruise Ship 17 Days After Passengers Disembarked

March 24, 2020 Updated: March 24, 2020

Traces of the CCP virus were found on a cruise ship in Japan over two weeks after passengers disembarked, according to Japanese researchers.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was quarantined in Yokohama for two weeks starting in early February before all passengers and crew eventually got off.

Traces of the new virus were found “on a variety of surfaces” in cabins of infected passengers up to 17 days after the cabins were vacated, Takuya Yamagishi of Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases told U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers.

The traces were found in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers before the cabins were disinfected.

“Although these data cannot be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces, further study of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard cruise ships is warranted,” the CDC stated.

Japan Screens Cruise Ship Diamond Princess For The Wuhan Coronavirus
The Diamond Princess cruise ship sits docked at Daikoku Pier in quarantine in Yokohama, Japan on Feb. 7, 2020. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

Researchers said in a study published last week that the new virus can survive up to three days on some surfaces.

At the time of the quarantine, the cluster of cases on the Diamond Princess was the largest in the world outside of China. Seven hundred and twelve people on board ultimately became infected, with seven of them dying, according to the World Health Organization. Some passengers were repatriated to countries including the United States and became sick after leaving Japan.

According to the CDC, approximately 46.5 percent of the people on board who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic at the time of testing. “Available statistical models of the Diamond Princess outbreak suggest that 17.9% of infected persons never developed symptoms,” researchers stated.

Researchers recommended that all persons around the world defer travel on cruise ships during the pandemic.

Dr. Tara Smith, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Kent State University College of Public Health, noted that researchers didn’t report on how many of the people who didn’t show symptoms eventually developed symptoms.

“It does seem like those who weren’t showing symptoms can spread live virus, but that’s now expected given several other papers out over the few weeks. Again, how much this drives transmission is uncertain, but shows again why distancing and hygiene are key,” she wrote on Twitter.

Smith also argued that the study does not show that the new virus can live on surfaces for 17 days, making the distinction between viral RNA and live virus.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber