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More people sick on SC cruise ship that had virus

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More people sick on SC cruise ship that had virus

CHARLESTON, S.C. – More passengers are sick with a stomach bug aboard the same cruise ship hit by a virus on its previous trip from South Carolina.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Friday that 55 of the nearly 1,900 passengers on board the Celebrity Mercury reported had fallen ill. It sailed from Charleston on Feb. 27 after a one-day delay to allow a crew to sanitize the ship following its previous voyage.

Cruise line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez did not immediately respond to an e-mail message from The Associated Press early Friday seeking more information.

More than 400 passengers and crew members became ill during the previous cruise that ended in Charleston on Feb. 26.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said tests showed last month's outbreak was caused by norovirus, which can spread quickly in closed quarters. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

The agency's Vessel Sanitation Web site listed three other ships scheduled to return from cruises Friday with reports of intestinal illnesses, one confirmed as resulting from the norovirus.

The Celebrity Cruise Millennium sailing from Puerto Rico reported 180 of 2,958 sick in illnesses confirmed to be norovirus.

A total of 116 of the 3,006 passengers and crew aboard the Royal Caribbean International Jewel of the Seas took ill on a cruise out of Miami while 287 of the 1,770 aboard the Holland American Line Maasdam out of Fort Lauderdale were sick. The CDC said the causes of those outbreaks have not been confirmed.

For all of 2009, the CDC site listed a total of 15 outbreaks of intestinal illnesses on cruise ships. There have been seven so far this year.

Source: AP

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