Possible norovirus outbreak forces cruise liner to make port

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. -- Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas was forced to return to Port Everglades today after an outbreak of more than 100 cases of norovirus on board.

"Vision of the Seas experienced an elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness on its last sailing," Royal Caribbean International said in a statement.

105 of the 1,991 guests onboard the cruise and three of 772 crew members experienced the illness, officials said.

Over-the-counter medication was administered onboard the ship.

"At Royal Caribbean International we have high health standards for all our guests and crew," company officials said in a statement. "During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning onboard the ship, to help prevent the spread of the illness."

When the Vision of the Seas docked in Port Everglades, the company said it conducted an extensive sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing.

"Guests received a letter at boarding that asks if they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days," Royal Caribbean officials said.

According to health experts, each year as many as 300 million people worldwide are affected by Norovirus.


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