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Nasty Norovirus Sickens 500 on Cruise Ships

Handout, Getty Images

In yet another blow to the cruise industry — and Carnival Cruises in particular — nearly 500 people contracted norovirus on board two of the company’s Florida-based Princess Cruises ships last week.

While the norovirus isn’t deadly, per se, it’s contagious and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain, none of which are ever fun, let alone when you’re on vacation.

Cruise line spokeswoman Julie Benson said the Crown Princess returned from a Caribbean cruise on Saturday with 364 sick passengers and 30 sick crew members. On Sunday morning, 92 passengers and 13 crew members were reported ill after the Ruby Princess disembarked.

“We’re working in close cooperation with the CDC to identify the cause,” Benson said, adding that investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been on board both ships to monitor cleaning procedures.

Carnival Cruises, you may recall, is the parent company of the Costa Concordia vessel, which sank last month after its captain deviated off-course and struck rocks close to the Italian coastline. Needless to say, the cruise company is not having the best year so far.


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