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Passengers Fall Ill on Cruise Ship

November 14, 2002

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Eight passengers have become ill aboard a cruise ship where a virus sickened more than 400 people on recent voyages, cruise officials said Wednesday.

Six-hundred workers cleaned and sanitized the ship before Holland America’s Amsterdam left Fort Lauderdale on Monday carrying 1,316 passengers on a 10-day Caribbean cruise.

``We had crew cleaning Scrabble tiles and the poker chips,″ Holland spokeswoman Erik Elvejord said.

By Wednesday afternoon, eight people were sick with the same Norwalk-type virus symptoms, Elvejord said.

``Since the ship’s at sea we’re asking them to stay in the cabins and we’re bringing them food,″ Elvejord said.

While not considered serious, the virus strikes people with up to two days of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. It is spread through food and water and close contact with infected people or things they have touched.

A total of 425 passengers and crew members caught the virus during the ship’s last three voyages, company officials said.

Passengers leaving Monday were given a letter notifying them of the virus, but they all decided to board.

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On the Net:

Holland America: http://www.hollandamerica.com

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/

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