This in the morning news
Cruise passengers, crew sickened
NOROVIRUS: More than 120 sailing from Alaska were affected.
The Associated Press
(Published: August 9, 2003)
SEATTLE -- An outbreak of stomach illness has been reported among passengers and crew on the Star Princess cruise ship sailing between Alaska and Seattle.
A total of 107 passengers and 14 crew members suffered vomiting and diarrhea from the common Norovirus during the current seven-day cruise, said Tom Dow, a spokesman for Princess Cruises in Seattle.
No one was hospitalized.
"There's no indication that it's food or water," said Dave Forney, chief of the vessel sanitation program for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He said usually the illness is brought on board by a passenger and spreads easily in close quarters.
The outbreak was at its worst Monday and Tuesday and then decreased, Dow said. Five passengers and two crew members were sick Friday out of a total of 2,800 passengers and 1,100 crew members, he said.
Norovirus, the federal agency's name for Norwalk-like viruses, causes vomiting, diarrhea and some stomach cramps over one or two days. It's usually not serious, although people who are very young, elderly or have weakened immune systems may become dehydrated and need medical attention.
The ship was sailing Friday between Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia, and was due to arrive today in Seattle.
Dow said the virus was diagnosed on board. The ship was cleaned using antibacterial agents, he said.
Precautions were taken, including serving passengers rather than using buffet lines, placing hand sanitizing dispensers in food areas and notifying passengers to wash their hands frequently.
The Star Princess is operated by Princess Cruises, based in Santa Clarita, Calif.
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