A highly contagious virus that causes stomach flu sickened about 220
passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that returned Monday to
Honolulu after its weekly seven-day cruise around the islands,
Lab tests confirmed a norovirus - which causes nausea, vomiting and
diarrhoea - aboard the Pride of Hawaii, said Janice Okubo, spokeswoman
for the Hawaii Department of Health.
"It's one of the common viruses we've been seeing on cruise lines,"
Okubo said. "Most of the time, people recover."
The Norwalk-like virus infected about 9 percent of the ship's 2 500
passengers, NCL said. Virus symptoms typically last a day.
Stay in your room
Passengers who felt sick, as well as their cabinmates, were asked to
remain in their rooms for 24 hours. Norwegian Cruise Lines said it was giving those
passengers a $200 (¤137) on-ship credit.
The company said in a statement that the ship "has been carrying out
an extensive range of preventive measures on board and does not expect
this issue to carry forward into the next cruise."
Cruise lines usually rigorously clean ship surfaces, Okubo said.
The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating, Okubo said.
Norwegian Cruise Lines describes Pride of Hawaii as the largest and most
expensive US-flagged cruise ship ever built. It began service last
Norwegian Cruise Lines was acquired in February 2000 by Star Cruises PLC of
Malaysia, according to the cruise line's Web site. – (Sapa-AP)
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