Stomach illness that hit 83 people on cruise ship may be linked to norovirus

Updated 12:21 PM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
00:55 - Source: HLN
Sick cruise passengers stuck in rooms

Story highlights

66 passengers and 17 crew members came down with a digestive bug

Princess Cruises believes norovirus is at the root of the outbreak

It is believed to have infected passengers on a number of cruise ships in recent months

Health officials track it on cruise ships, leading to more frequent reporting

CNN —  

The latest norovirus outbreak aboard the Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess has infected 172 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 158 of 3,009 passengers and 14 of 1,160 crew members came down with the virus aboard the Crown Princess during a 28-day cruise that docked in Los Angeles on Sunday.

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The Crown Princess, which has room for more than 3,000 passengers, left Los Angeles on Saturday for a seven-day Pacific cruise.

Though Princess Cruises believes norovirus is at the root of the outbreak, due to the quick increase in the cases of gastric ailment, Candy did not confirm it as the cause.

Norovirus is known for being readily contagious. It causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and is believed to have infected passengers on a number of cruise ships in recent months.

In February, 114 passengers and 10 crew members took ill on the Holland America cruise ship MS Veendam during a weeklong voyage.

In January, more than 600 people on cruise ships sailing in the Caribbean fell ill from the virus, the CDC reported.

Norovirus infects many people on land, but health officials track it on cruise ships, leading to more frequent reporting of cases, the CDC said.

It is passed in person-to-person contact and can spread more easily in closed quarters.

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CNN’s Greg Morrison contributed to this report.