National/World

Virus strikes cruise ship out of New Orleans

Sunday, February 05, 2012
 ** FILE ** This undated Negative-stain Transmission Electron Microscopy image, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA, shows a Norovirus, also known as the Norwalk Virus. Norovirus is a genus of viruses of the family Caliciviridae. Recent scientific findings reveal that the genus causes around 50 percent of all gastroenteritis around the world. (AP Photo/F.P. Williams, U.S. EPA)

** FILE ** This undated Negative-stain Transmission Electron Microscopy image, provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA, shows a Norovirus, also known as the Norwalk Virus. Norovirus is a genus of viruses of the family Caliciviridae. Recent scientific findings reveal that the genus causes around 50 percent of all gastroenteritis around the world. (AP Photo/F.P. Williams, U.S. EPA)

A stomach virus has stricken people on a third U.S. cruise ship, with a vessel sailing from New Orleans delayed by norovirus.

Port of New Orleans spokesman Chris Bonura said Sunday that Royal Caribbean's "Voyager of the Sea" left a couple of hours late on Saturday because of the illnesses.

WDSU-TV reports that about 200 passengers became ill. Norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhea. It's easily spread in close quarters such as cruise ships and nursing homes.

The company did not immediately return a call and email seeking further details.

Earlier in the weekend, a pair of Princess Cruise Line ships sailing from Fort Lauderdale reported outbreaks of illness. They were delayed in departing on their next trips while they were disinfected.

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