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Over 300 people on Texas-Mexico cruise ship fall ill: CDC

Washington, March 10 (IANS) More than 300 people fell ill while on board a cruise ship from Texas to Mexico, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

At least 284 of the 2,881 passengers and 34 of the 1,159 crew members fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea aboard the Princess Cruises ship between February 26 and March 5, Xinhua news agency quoted the CDC as saying.

The CDC is yet to determine what caused the mass illness.

In response to the outbreak, the cruise company collected stool specimens from gastrointestinal illness cases to send to the CDC lab for pathogenic identification.

The CDC sent a team of epidemiologists to probe the possible virus that tore through the ship, Ruby Princess, after it docked in Galveston, Texas, on March 5.

The company said the sickness was likely caused by norovirus, a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

Norovirus, which is sometimes called the “cruise ship virus”, causes more than 90 per cent of diarrhoeal disease outbreaks on cruise ships, according to the CDC.

The Ruby Princess has since embarked on a new voyage, the company said.

The latest group of passengers, currently on a seven-day Caribbean cruise, were told about the increased illnesses on the previous trip.

The Ruby Princess has made headlines in the past as the site of several Covid-19 outbreaks, including a 2020 cruise early in the coronavirus pandemic that docked in Australia with hundreds of positive cases on board.



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