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 September 1, 2003
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Stomach illness reported aboard cruise ship
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Houston-AP -- An outbreak of stomach sickness has been reported on a cruise ship.

The Royal Caribbean International ship had been heading to the Caribbean from Texas -- when more than 70 people got sick with upset stomachs, vomiting or diarrhea.

Health officials say they're working to identify the stomach virus behind the outbreak. They say such illness is common on cruises, because of close contact between passengers moving back and forth on the ships.

A Royal Caribbean spokesman tells the Houston Chronicle the outbreak was a "24-hour stomach sickness of some sort." Officials believe the illness may have been spread by a 14-year-old girl.

The ship has returned to Texas. It was sanitized and set out again. Several cruises in recent months have had outbreaks of the Norwalk virus, a stomach ailment known to thrive in places with close quarters.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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