Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

Stricken cruise ship docks for cleaning

November 20, 2006

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— A thorough scrubbing of the Carnival Liberty began Sunday as the ship docked after a virus sickened nearly 700 passengers on a trans-Atlantic cruise.

Fourteen guests and five crew remained ill and in isolation when the ship arrived at Port Everglades, according to a statement released by Carnival Cruise Lines, a brand of Carnival Corp.

Preliminary tests identified the source of the outbreak as the highly contagious norovirus, which had struck several guests just before they boarded the cruise Nov. 3 in Rome, Carnival officials said. More than 530 guests and 140 crew reported to the ship's infirmary with symptoms during the 16-day voyage.

Norovirus is a group of viruses that cause stomach flu symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Liberty, which has room for 2,974 travelers, had been scheduled to set sail again Sunday afternoon on a six-day Caribbean voyage, but Miami-based Carnival delayed its next departure until Tuesday so crews could have extra time to disinfect the ship.

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