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TheSkipper

Virus Outbreak

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Just ran across this news release and thought I'd pass it along.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Nearly 120 passengers and crew members became sick with a stomach virus aboard a ship that returned to port Saturday after a five-day Caribbean cruise, Royal Caribbean International officials said.

The outbreak of a Norwalk-type virus aboard the Enchantment of the Seas sickened 108 passengers and eight crew members, said company spokesman Michael Sheehan. It was traced to a man who had symptoms two days before boarding the ship Monday, he said.

A special cleaning of the 1,950-passenger ship was expected to delay a scheduled departure Saturday for a few hours, officials said.

Symptoms of Norwalk-like viruses include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and last up to 48 hours. No special medical treatment is required.

Such viruses affect 23 million Americans a year and were blamed for a rash of cruise ship illnesses more than a year ago that prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) to investigate several lines. In September, 84 passengers aboard a cruise ship from Alaska fell ill with a Norwalk-like virus.

:angry:

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I think you're right, jtutak! They interveiwed some of the passengers, on our local (Miami) TV station, shortly after debarkation. Several said that all of the passengers who became ill had eaten on particular food item (I, honestly, forgot what the dish was...), and that the line was trying to cover it up. One passenger said that there were far more than 100 "ill" people, but some did not feel bad enough to report it, or go to the ship infirmary. Another said that a lot of people who ate that dish had become "queasy," but not really "sick."

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