Norovirus sickens 200 people on New Zealand cruise

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Norovirus sickens 200 people on New Zealand cruise
The passenger liner Dawn Princess, operated by Carnival Corp.'s Princess Cruises, sits docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Princes Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, fell against most major peers as the government said the country's most widespread drought in at least 30 years reduces pressure to raise interest rates. Photographer: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BOSTON - OCTOBER 31: Norwegian Gem, center, made an unscheduled stop in Boston today to take on supplies and fuel before returning to sea to await the New York port's reopening after Hurricane Sandy. Caribbean Princess, foreground, which was scheduled to end today at New York's Brooklyn terminal, remained in Boston overnight due to the Brooklyn terminal's closure, and Princess says passengers have the option of disembarking the ship today in Boston. Norwegian Dawn is the last ship on the pier. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
The cruise ship Dawn Princess is moved into deeper water at Misson Bay on the east coast of Auckland after a tsunami alert on February 28, 2010. Tsunami waves roared across the Pacific Ocean sparking alerts across the region following one of the largest earthquakes on record that struck chile killing 214 people. AFP PHOTO/BRENDON O'HAGAN (Photo credit should read BRENDON O'HAGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 08: Swimmers enter the water for the start of the Tauranga Half Ironman as the Dawn Princess arrives in Port at Mount Manganui on January 8, 2011 in Tauranga, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Health authorities in New Zealand said Monday that about 200 passengers on a cruise ship have been sickened by an outbreak of norovirus.

The passengers were among more than 1,500 aboard the Dawn Princess, which was due to leave for Australia Monday as it completes a 13-day voyage. The ship is operated by Princess Cruises, a division of Miami-based Carnival Corp.

Dr. Alistair Humphrey, the medical officer of health for Canterbury, said health officials conducted tests which confirmed the illness is norovirus. He said the outbreak now appears to be waning.

The gastrointestinal illness typically lasts one to three days and can cause stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Princess Cruises said in a statement that affected passengers were isolated in their cabins until they were considered no longer contagious and that crew members had disinfected surfaces like railings, door handles and elevator buttons. Crew members had also encouraged passengers to wash their hands correctly and use sanitizing gels, the cruise operator said.

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