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Cruise ship arriving in San Diego with sick passengers

Second cruise ship arrives in San Diego with sick passengers

Federal health officials are set to board a cruise ship that pulled into San Diego on Tuesday morning after reporting 133 people were sick during the cruise with gastrointestinal distress.

An environmental health officer and an epidemiologist are set to board the Legend of the Seas, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ship is the second to arrive in San Diego this week after reporting passengers and crew members were stricken with vomiting and diarrhea. With medication, the illness usually lasts several days.

The Celebrity Infinity departed Monday night after an examination by health officials and a vigorous cleaning and disinfecting of living spaces, officials said. Some 106 of 2,117 guests and six of 964 crew members had become sick.

With both ships, the suspected cause of sickness is a norovirus, the nation's most common reason for gastrointestinal illness.

Once the two CDC officials board the Legend of the Seas, they will taking specimens to determine the cause of the illness.

The 867-foot Legend of the Seas reported to the CDC that 130 of 1,763 guests and three of 747 crew members became ill.

The ship was finishing a 15-night Panama Canal cruise that began March 30 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was scheduled to leave San Diego on Tuesday night to return to Fort Lauderdale.

In a statement, the ship's owner, Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said that it has "high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we took a number of steps to prevent the transmission of the illness...."

When the Legend of the Seas arrived in San Diego, "we began an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing."

tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego   

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