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139 passengers, crew contract illness aboard cruise departing Florida

By Ehren Wynder

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Nearly 140 passengers and crew members have fallen sick aboard a Cunard Cruise Line ship, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

According to the CDC investigation, 123 of the 1,824 passengers on board the Queen Victoria contracted an unknown gastrointestinal illness during the ship's voyage,

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The cruise ship departed Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 22 and is expected to go to San Francisco before it ends in Honolulu on Feb. 12.

The report also found 16 of the ships 967 crew fell ill. Predominant symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.

Cunard Cruise Line reported crew members responded by isolating sick passengers and crew and increasing sanitation procedures according to the ship's outbreak response plan.

"Cunard confirmed that a small number of guests had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness on board Queen Victoria," Cunard said in a statement. "They immediately activated their enhanced health and safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of all guests and crew on board."

The CDC said its Vessel Sanitation Program is monitoring the situation.

The gastro illness report comes just a week after passengers aboard Carnival Cruise Line's Elation ship reported symptoms of the stomach flu after the ship set off from Jacksonville, Fla.

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The CDC a month ago also reported 100 people contracted norovirus on board a Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Constellation cruise, which sailed from Jan. 3 to Jan. 12.

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