Norovirus Outbreak Hits Crown Princess Cruise Ship -- Again

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Passengers on the Crown Princess cruise ship are getting sick with novovirus again. The Crown Princess is returning to port for the second straight week following another novovirus outbreak on the cruise ship.

The Crown Princess, operated by Princess Cruise Lines, is expected to return to Port Everglades, Fla. around 7 a.m. Thursday -- two days before its originally scheduled return. Princess Cruise Lines said in a statement that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a widespread outbreak on the novovirus illness onboard. The very same thing happened just last week.

Novovirus, a stomach-flu type illness, attacks the gastrointestinal system. It is highly-contagious, and often passed through contaminated food and water. Symptoms typically include vomiting and diarrhea. The Crown Princess has 114 passengers and 59 crew members that have reported gastrointestinal problems. Days before, some 364 passengers and 30 crew members came down with novorvirus, according to the Miami Herald. The ship will undergo extensive sanitation once it returns to the port, Princess Cruise Lines said.

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, Princess Cruise Lines said in a statement. The staterooms will be sanitized multiple times before making up the rooms with fresh linens and towels on Saturday morning, just prior to passenger embarkation.

Passengers will received a cruise fare refund, the cruise line said. It will also help arrange flights home and provide hotel accommodations if necessary, since the cruise ship is returning two days early. Passengers will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.

The ship left port six hours late due to rigorous sanitization measures ... (including) a comprehensive disinfection of all cabins and public areas from its previous norovirus outbreak. The CDC was involved in the cleansing. The Crown Princess will undergo another cleansing upon its return on Thursday, and is scheduled to depart on another cruise on Feb. 11.

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