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Norovirus outbreak on two cruise ships

240 people become ill with highly contagious norovirus

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla | February 6, 2012

Outbreaks of a gastrointestinal virus have been reported on two Princess Cruises ships operating out of Port Everglades, Fla., officials said.

A total of 240 people became ill with Norovirus on the Crown Princess and Ruby Princess, The Palm Beach Post reported. The Crown Princess docked Saturday morning, and the Ruby Princess was scheduled to arrive Sunday.

Embarkation for both ships was to be delayed by a few hours to give crews time to do a thorough cleaning.

Norovirus causes a range of symptoms, including upset stomach and vomiting. The infection usually runs its course in three days or less without treatment and without doing any long-term damage.

The virus is highly contagious. The Centers for Disease Control reports about 12 percent of the population is infected every year, while the equivalent figure for cruise ship passengers is 0.028 percent.

On the Crown Princess, about 4 percent of the passengers or 140 people were infected along with 18 members of the crew. On the Ruby Princess, 81 passengers, about 2 percent of the total, and nine crew members became ill.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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