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More than 100 passengers fall ill on Caribbean cruise

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:16 a.m. HST, Mar 09, 2013

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. >> A cruise ship has returned to South Florida after concluding a Caribbean voyage that saw more than a hundred people develop a gastrointestinal illness on board.

Royal Caribbean International reported Friday that 105 of 1,991 guests and three of 772 crew members experienced a possible short-lived norovirus illness during the 11-night trip. 

They have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship.

The cruise line says in a statement that crew members scrubbed the ship to help prevent the spread of the illness and again when it returned to port.

The source of the illness wasn’t immediately reported.

The Centers for Disease Control says the contagious norovirus causes about 21 million illnesses in the U.S. each year and contributes to 800 deaths.

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Nevadan wrote:
Too many people cough into the air? Few passengers cover their mouth.
on March 8,2013 | 11:07PM
aomohoa wrote:
It would also be good if they cover their mouth with their arm not their hands. Hands spread germs too. Everyone should teach their kids that too.
on March 9,2013 | 08:21AM
Kate53 wrote:
Wash your hands! The norovirus is brought aboard ships with passengers who travel through airports, etc. and have been exposed there. That's why outbreaks on board ship usually occur 3-4 days after the ship sails -- the incubation period. Don't shake hands with people, wash hands frequently, especially before eating, and hand sanitizer DOES NOT WORK on the norovirus according to the CDC. Good personal hygiene practices also prevent other illnesses like flu and the common cold.
on March 9,2013 | 01:21AM
aomohoa wrote:
It would help if everyone actually cleaned their hands,with the sanitizer, when they enter the dining room on a cruise ship. I have taken a lot of cruises and I was really sick once. it was bad though. I am so careful now to not touch the rails on the stairs and clean my hand constantly. The better cruise lines have stayed on top of the problem. I hate to be paranoid but I care hand cleaner when I travel and clean my hands after even touching anything on a plane. Don't get your hands near your face without them being clean.
on March 9,2013 | 08:19AM
Kate53 wrote:
From the CDC website on norovirus: "Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing. But, they should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water." Don't rely on hand sanitizers. Nothing is better than washing hands with soap and water.
on March 9,2013 | 12:00PM
cojef wrote:
Recent alerts on hand snitizer indicate that it is not sufficient to prevent norovirus type oubreaks. Most of the outbreaks in my estimation is in the foodhandling area, and have little on hand rail facilities. During the sleeping hours is when the crew are out wiping all of the public contact areas. in a recent release the CDC instructed that bleach be used rather the drug store=styled hand cleaners. Quit cruising with the emergence of the mega-liners during the late 2000's. Cruised on liners of 1,000 passengers and under. Back then it was the "Legionaire's Disease", that cruisers were faced with. Multi-national crew memembers can be some of the root causes. Third world counties' sanity codes are not up to par and crew members from these countries may have to be trained to help deter incidents being reported currently. Remember a particular cruise line hires only hire Filipinos and train them in a company school in Indonesia. In the last 6months there have been more incidents of this nature hitting the news wires. Coincidence???
on March 9,2013 | 12:05PM
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