US officials probe illnesses on Caribbean cruise

KINGSTON, Jamaica — U.S. health officials will board a cruise ship docked in the U.S. Virgin Islands to investigate an illness outbreak that has sickened at least 300 people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 281 out of 3,050 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas have reported symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. A total of 22 crew members have also gotten sick.

In a Sunday statement, Royal Caribbean International spokeswoman Janet Diaz said the 15-deck cruise ship has undergone extensive cleaning. CDC officials are expected to soon board the vessel.

She says the people who got sick have “responded well to over-the-counter medication.”

Norovirus symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which is what the cruise ship passengers have reported. The virus is known for afflicting schools and cruise ships.

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