Cruise ship docks in Florida with more than 380 suffering from virus symptoms
Sunday, December 3rd 2006, 2:48 pm
News On 6
MIAMI (AP) More than 380 passengers and crew aboard a cruise ship were sickened by a virus during a seven-day Caribbean cruise, cruise officials said Sunday.
Norovirus sickened 338 passengers and 46 crew members about the Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, and they were treated with over the counter medication, the Miami-based company said.
The ship, which had roughly 3,800 passengers and 1,300 crew members, returned Sunday as scheduled to the Port of Miami. Crew members sanitized frequently touched surfaces such as railings, door handles and elevator buttons after the short-lived outbreak began, officials said.
A guest previously exposed to norovirus likely brought it on board November 26th, the company said.
Noroviruses, characterized by stomach flu-like symptoms, affect about 23 million Americans annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
An outbreak struck more than 700 passengers and crew members aboard a trans-Atlantic cruise last month on the Carnival Cruise Lines' Liberty.
The Freedom of the Seas, which was christened in May, can carry more than 4,000 people aboard its 15 passenger decks.