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Norovirus Infects 172 on Cruise Ship, Blamed for Emory Outbreak

Update Date: Nov 17, 2014 06:41 PM EST

The contagious Norovirus has infected 172 people on a cruise ship which arrived in California on Sunday.

According to The Washinton Post, the cruise ship Crown Princesses has 4,100 people aboard of which the infected starting showing symptoms of gastrointestinal sickness a few days into the trip. The ship was on a month-long cruise from Los Angeles to Tahiti.

The ship will undergo deep cleaning and disinfection as per CDC guidelines before going on another cruise this weekend. A similar incident was reported on the ship in April this year when 129 people contracted the virus and ship had to be disinfected as per guidelines.

"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," Susan Lomax, the company's spokesperson said according to ABC News.

The norovirus has also been implicated in last week's gastroenteritis outbreak at Emory University. According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 89 students had sought medical help for gastroenteritis as on Friday at the student health center and the university hospital. Sample testing showed norovirus infections which spread through contaminated food, water and infected surfaces.

"The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea," according to CDC.

Every year nearly 21 million infections are reported in the US. The virus can cause multiple infections during an individual's lifetime but can be prevented by following hand hygiene. Though it can be easily treated and most infections resolve in three days, young children and older adults with compromised immune systems may have to be monitored. There currently is no vaccine for the virus.


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