Cruise virus outbreak one of worst in 20 years, CDC says

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UPDATED: Federal health officials confirmed on Friday that norovirus was the culprit that sickened nearly 700 people on a cruise ship this week, and said it was one of the biggest norovirus outbreaks in 20 years.

Original story:

It’s not a fun way to end a dream vacation.

Dozens of passengers on a four-night cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship became sick with a stomach illness, according to a company statement.

The Majesty of the Seas docked in Miami Friday after a Caribbean journey that included port calls at Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida.

Sixty-six of the more than 2,500 passengers aboard experienced gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea, Royal Caribbean International said.

Two of the more than 800 crew members also fell ill, the company said.

The cruise line suspects the cause to be norovirus, according to the company’s statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta describes norovirus as a very contagious bug that can be spread by infected persons, in contaminated food or water, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. The CDC says norovirus affects nearly 20 million people in the U.S. each year, and results in between 570 to 800 deaths.


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