The US Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that 172 of the 4,100 passengers aboard the Crown Princess cruise ship that took off from the San Pedro harbor in Los Angeles on a month-long cruise to Hawaii have fallen ill after contracting the deadly norovirus disease.

The norovirus is highly contagious gastrointestinal disease and comes with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and body aches. Most people get to recover from the infection within three days to a week after being properly treated, but a few persons have succumbed to it in some rare cases.

According to Susan Lomax, the spokeswoman for the cruise ship company, “as it is the cold and flu season, when the stomach flu circulates on land, we encourage all of our guests to be diligent in following the widely accepted practices of frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of hand sanitizers.” She also reported that the ship will under a deep cleaning service in San Pedro before it will embark on its next voyage to the Mexican Riviera.

According to the CDC, the 172 infected passengers started showing full symptoms of norovirus a few days into their one-month voyage from San Pedro to Hawaii, from where the ship will set sailto Tahiti before returning to Los Angeles. Although most of the infected passengers are currently being treated aboard the ship, the CDC has stated it will be sending an official to join the ship and investigate the cause of the outbreak and the ship crew’s response to it. It must be recalled that 129 people also contracted norovirus aboard this same ship in April during a seven days cruise to the California coast, before it was disinfected through deep cleaning at the dock.

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