More people sick on US cruise ship that had virus

Last Updated: Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 12:23

Charleston: Passengers have again fallen ill with a stomach bug aboard a cruise ship hit by a virus last month on its previous trip from South Carolina.
Celebrity Cruise spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said on Friday that 55 of the nearly 1,900 passengers on board the Celebrity Mercury were sick.

More than 400 passengers and crew fell ill during a cruise that ended in Charleston on February 26. The vessel sailed again last weekend after a one-day delay to allow a crew to sanitise the ship.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said tests showed last month`s outbreak was caused by norovirus, which can spread quickly in closed quarters. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

State health officials in South Carolina have reported twice as many cases of norovirus as normal this winter.

The virus may have come on board the ship with passengers, crew members or supplies. But it is almost impossible to pinpoint a specific cause in a closed place like a cruise liner, said Adam Myrick, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"It`s so ubiquitous. It`s everywhere," he said. "There`s no way you can say it came from this stairwell, this handrail in this stairwell."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 12:23

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