2nd infected cruise ship arrives in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO – For the second time in as many days, a cruise ship carrying more than 100 ill passengers and crew members arrived in San Diego Tuesday morning.

The Royal Carribean Legend of the Seas, carrying 1,763 people, pulled into the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal at about 5:30 a.m. after a 15-day cruise that began in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Centers for Disease Control said 114 passengers and two crew members were suffering from some kind of gastrointestinal ailment. The symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea, officials said. The cause of the illness had not been determined.

In response to the rash of illnesses, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line reported increased cleaning and disinfection of the vessel and collection of patients’ specimens to determine what led to the problem, according to the CDC.

On Monday, the Celebrity Infinity arrived in San Diego with 112 sick people on board, according to the CDC. Of the ship’s 2,117 passengers, 106 have suffered from vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms, the CDC said. The illness has also affected six members of the 964-person crew.

The CDC determined that the outbreak on the Infinity was caused by norovirus. Two staffers from the agency boarded the West Coast-based ship Monday in San Diego.

The Infinity left San Diego on March 29. It made its last stop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on April 10, according to MarineTraffic.com.

Celebrity Cruises has been taking action since the outbreak began, including increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures, keeping passengers informed and taking specimens from the afflicted for testing by the CDC, the agency says.

This is the third time the Celebrity Infinity has suffered an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, with others occurring in 2006 and 2013. The ship was built in 2001 and refurbished in 2011.

Norovirus is highly contagious and is spread by direct contact. Cruise ship passengers should wash their hands frequently and avoid eating raw foods, medical experts said.

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