Number of ill people aboard Disney cruise rises to 160

Friday, November 29, 2002

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Forty people aboard the Disney cruise liner Magic reported feeling sick on Thursday, pushing the number of reported illnesses on the current voyage to 160, Disney officials said.

Disney spokesman Mark Jaronski said 140 guests and 20 crewmembers had reported feeling sick as of Thursday, a day after officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a Norwalk-like virus aboard the ship.

Disney has canceled the Magic's next scheduled voyage, making it the third U.S.-based cruise ship pulled from service this year because of passenger illnesses.

Norwalk can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting for up to two days. CDC officials said Norwalk-like viruses are common in enclosed settings.

The Magic, carrying 2,400 guests and about 1,000 crewmembers, will be thoroughly cleaned when it returns to Port Canaveral on Saturday.

The ship was disinfected Saturday after about 275 people got sick on its last trip. The CDC has confirmed that passengers on last week's voyage had the Norwalk virus.

A Norwalk-like virus also was suspected of sickening more than 600 people aboard two Holland America ships in July and over the past few weeks. Both ships were pulled from service for cleaning.

The CDC said the virus was passed on board the Holland America ships via person-to-person contact, and that officials found no problems with the ships' food handling and potable water systems.

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