Norovirus sickens 170 passengers on cruise ship bound for L.A.

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CrownPrincess

Crown Princess

LOS ANGELES – An outbreak of Norovirus aboard a Princess Cruises cruise ship caused more than 170 passengers and crew members on board to be ill, according to health officials Sunday.

Passengers began showing symptoms of the gastrointestinal illness when the Crown Princess was sailing from Tahiti to Los Angeles, according to Princess Cruises statement Sunday. About 20 people currently had active cases of the illness, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, KTLA reported.

“Over the last few days, the ship began seeing an increased number” of the cases, the statement read.

Princess Cruises has taken active steps to combat the virus, including increased cleanings and disinfection procedures, and encouraging hand hygiene and case reporting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vessel Sanitation Program reported.

Other steps would be taken once passengers disembarked from the ship to prevent the virus from spreading.

“We have enacted our stringent disinfecting protocols, which includes an extensive deep cleaning in Los Angeles on Sunday before the ship embarks on its next voyage,” the Princess Cruises statement read.

This is the second time this year that the Crown Princess has experienced an outbreak of Norovirus, according to the CDC, which has sent an official to investigate the latest report.

A total of 3,007 guests and 1,160 crew members were reported to have been on the ship at the time the illness broke out.

According to the statement, the vessel’s arrival had already been delayed a day because a crew member suffered a “serious medical condition” after the ship left Tahiti on November 10. Consequently, the cruise line was forced to return back some several hundred miles and head to a nearby island so the crew member could undergo emergency surgery.

The life-saving procedure was performed, and the crew member was expected to fully recover.

The medical emergency was not related to Norovirus, the cruise line’s statement stressed.