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
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.
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.
CNN’s Greg Morrison contributed to this report.