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Norovirus outbreak sickens Princess Cruises ship passengers

LOS ANGELES - Officials investigated an outbreak of Norovirus on Sunday found in cruise ship passengers who traveled across the Pacific Ocean.

According to the Princess Cruises Media Relations Department, the 28-day cruise originated in Los Angeles, and traveled to Hawaii and Tahiti, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Officials explained about 170 people on board the Crown Princess reported having symptoms of the virus.

Over the last few days, crew members said an increased number of gastrointestinal illnesses caused by Norovirus were reported.

Princess Cruises has "enacted our stringent disinfecting protocols" developed in consultation with the CDC and will do a deep cleaning of the ship and terminal in Los Angeles before departing Sunday night for a weeklong cruise through the Mexican Riviera, said spokeswoman Susan Lomax.

In April, 129 people on the same ship contracted norovirus during a seven-day cruise off the California coast. Lomax said that the ship went through the same stringent disinfecting process after it docked.

"As it is the cold and flu season, when the stomach flu circulates on land, we encourage all of our guests to be diligent in following the widely accepted practices of frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizers," Lomax said.

According to the CDC, Norovirus is very contagious and can be transmitted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

The virus causes the stomach to become inflamed, which leads to stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, officials explained.

The ship arrived at 7:00 a.m. in Los Angeles.

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