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139 catch gastrointestinal illness on cruise ship: CDC

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Over 130 people suffered digestive problems due to an unknown illness on a cruise ship, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A CDC report released Thursday said numerous people aboard the Queen Victoria, a cruise ship run by Cunard Cruise Line, suffered from gastrointestinal disease with diarrhea and vomiting.
According to officials, 123 of the 1,824 passengers were sickened, along with 16 of the 967 crew members. That’s almost 7% of the passengers and nearly 2% of the crew, the CDC noted.
As of the latest update, the cause of the illness is unknown. The CDC also said that the case number doesn’t reflect active cases, but rather the total number of cases for the entire voyage.
The CDC said the current leg of the cruise ship’s voyage began on Jan. 22, although the entire world voyage began on Jan. 11 in Southampton, England. According to Cunard’s website, the ship left Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 22. The 109-day world voyage was scheduled to end on April 28, when the ship returns to England.
In response to the health concern, the ship’s crew increased its sanitation measures and isolated the ill patients, according to the Vessel Sanitation Program.
Cunard Cruise Line did not immediately respond to Nexstar’s request for comment or additional information.
Cruise ships are required to report gastrointestinal illnesses to the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program before arriving in a U.S. port from a foreign port if: 2% or more of the passengers or crew are ill and the ship is in the U.S. or within 15 days of arriving at a U.S. port; or if 3% or more of the passengers or crew have gastrointestinal illness.
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