100 passengers sick on Mexico cruise

February 26, 2008 9:53:11 AM PST
Norovirus, the so-called "cruise ship virus," made misery for passengers and crew on a ship cruising between California and Mexico.

When the Holland America ship "Ryndam" docked in San Diego yesterday, it wasn't greeted by a band, but by ambulances, for some of the 100 pasengers sickened by the Norwalk virus, or norovirus.

It is the fourth suspected outbreak of a highly contagious virus on the same cruise ship since early last year.

The Ryndam returned to San Diego yesterday from a 10-day trip to Mexico.

A Holland America spokesman says passengers first showed signs of the norovirus six days into the trip. The virus causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and lasts 24 to 48 hours.

Ailing passengers were restricted to their cabins.

The spokesman says the virus sickened 104 passengers and six crew members. The ship was carrying 1,226 passengers and 556 crew when it left port February 15th.

An 81-year-old woman suffering from dehydration was hospitalized after the ship arrived in San Diego.

The ship was disinfected from top to bottom, before it set sail again.

The Holland America spokesman says the virus is typically brought aboard by a passenger.