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Mar 29, 2010 11:28 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

CDC confirms norovirus on 3rd straight SC cruise

Officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say tests confirm that norovirus caused intestinal illness on a third straight cruise from South Carolina earlier this month.

The norovirus sickened almost 420 people aboard Celebrity Mercury, which returned to Charleston on March 18. Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

The Mercury then underwent three days of extensive cleaning. There were no problems when the ship sailed on a fourth cruise last week.

The Celebrity was back in Charleston on Monday preparing to board another cruise.

On two previous cruises this year, hundreds of passengers were sickened by norovirus on the same ship. The norovirus can spread quickly in close quarters.

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