By SD6 Heidi Kwon, Associated Press
SAN DIEGO – A gastrointestinal illness Norovirus has gripped nearly 100 people on the cruise ship Celebrity Infinity that arrived in San Diego on Monday.
Of the ship’s 2,117 passengers, 95 have suffered from vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention report. The illness has also affected five members of the 964-person crew.
The CDC noted the highly contagious virus can be acquired from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.
Cynthia Martinez of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the corporate owner of Celebrity Cruises, put the number of those sickened at 99 passengers and one crew member.
She said the patients responded well to over-the-counter medication provided aboard the ship, which left San Diego on March 29 for a cruise to the Mexican Riviera.
Celebrity was sending corporate management, and hotel and housekeeping teams to assist with an infection control response plan and was consulting with the agency on plans for “comprehensive sanitation procedures,” according to the CDC.
The CDC sent a Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer and an epidemiologist to San Diego to evaluate the outbreak and response activities. Specimens are being collected and will be tested by CDC to determine what caused the suspected Norovirus outbreak.
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