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Posted: 5/20/2003 12:11:59 PM EDT
SEATTLE (May 20) - Fifty-five passengers and five crew members on a seven-day Alaska cruise contracted what appeared to be a norovirus, the category of viruses that caused thousands of cruise ship passengers to fall ill last year, officials said. The illnesses occurred on the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel Norwegian Sky, which docked in Seattle on Saturday. SeaTac Fire Department personnel aided some of those suffering from dehydration and eight were taken to local hospitals. No passengers were admitted, Dr. Jeff Duchin of Seattle-King County Public Health told a news conference Monday, though he noted that nausea and other intestinal distress can be particularly difficult for elderly people and those with pre-existing health problems. Norwegian reported the outbreak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as required, Duchin said. The CDC and Duchin both said the outbreak was related to a type of Norwalk virus. CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben in Atlanta said the company is ``taking appropriate measures to respond. They're increasing surveillance on the ship, and cleaning and sanitizing.'' The 853-foot vessel can accommodate 2,400 passengers and a crew of about 1,000. There were 2,200 passengers on board for this trip, company spokeswoman Heather Krasnow said Monday. The norovirus - which includes Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses - can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting for 24 to 48 hours. They are spread through food and water and close contact with infected people or things they have touched. People concerned about exposure should practice good hand-washing hygiene and take care with food preparation, health department spokesman Matias Valenzuela said. 05/20/03 00:22 EDT Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
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Link Posted: 5/20/2003 12:39:56 PM EDT
Didn't DVDTracker just return to port from a cruise?
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