June 02, 2020
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Norovirus sickens hundreds on Portland’s first cruise ship of the season

PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said more than 250 passengers have been sickened on the first cruise ship to dock in Portland this year because of norovirus.

The Fred Olsen Cruises ship Balmoral docked Sunday morning in Portland and left after 4 p.m. The CDC reported Sunday that more than 25 percent of passengers, 252 out of 919, have reported being sick. Eight crew members also have reported feeling ill.

An epidemiologist boarded the ship in Baltimore a week ago as the crew increased cleaning and disinfecting around the ship. Tests were positive for norovirus.

Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting and diarrhea. Samples were taken to the CDC for additional testing.

Portland city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said the city was informed before the cruise ship arrived. Grondin said about a half dozen passengers were isolated in their cabins while the ship was in Portland.

Portland is expecting 26 cruise ships to dock this year, with more than 100,000 passengers between May and October anticipated for the first time.

Balmoral will not be stopping in Bar Harbor, according to the 2016 Bar Harbor cruise ship schedule.

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