lunes, 27 de febrero de 2012

A PRINCESS Cruise Lines ship was forced to return to its Florida port overnight following a second outbreak of the highly-contagious Norovirus.

During the latest Crown Princess voyage, which set sail February 4, 226 passengers and 63 crew members contracted the gastrointestinal illness.
The cruise had been scheduled to visit Curacao and Aruba and enter port tomorrow but was forced to return two days early "to undergo an extensive two-day sanitization," the operator said.
"In consultation with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ... it was agreed that this was the best course of action to stop the spread of the illness," it continued. "We sincerely regret having to cut short our passengers' cruise vacations because of this highly-unusual situation."
Staff members were set to begin the arduous task of cleaning the vessel in an attempt to rid it of the virus, which quickly spreads through person-to-person contact and via contaminated food and water.
"The enhanced disinfection of the ship in Fort Lauderdale will include bringing aboard additional cleaning crew to assist with a thorough sanitization of all public spaces and surfaces, including soft furnishing and carpets, railings, door handles and the like," the operator said.
The ship will return to sea for its next scheduled cruise Saturday, it added.
The previous cruise affected by the outbreak departed January 28, before returning February 4. Princess Cruise Lines said 364 passengers and 30 crew members contracted the virus.
The Crown Princess was not the only Florida-based cruise liner to suffer a norovirus outbreak recently. The Ruby Princess -- also a Princess Cruise Lines vessel -- returned to its Fort Lauderdale port February 5 after more than 100 passengers and crew became ill.
The Norovirus is a problem on cruise ships because it spreads more easily among large numbers of people concentrated in limited areas.
Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps, according to the CDC.

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