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CDC docks Celebrity Mercury over continued passenger illness outbreaks

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On March - 15 - 2010

CNN and USA TODAY are reporting that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a “no sail” warning for the Celebrity Mercury sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina. CNN quoted a CDC official stating the agency has yet to determine why earlier containment procedures have failed. CNN says CDC officials are currently onboard the Mercury conducting an investigating, and the agency has notified Celebrity of the “no sail” recommendation.

Celebrity Cruises has been struggling to contain continued outbreaks of suspected norovirus on the Mercury since mid-February. Celebrity issued a statement Monday, stating that a scheduled stop in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, was being skipped so the ship could return to Charleston a day earlier. The cruise line has had outbreaks on two previous cruises on Febuary 15, when 22.48 percent of the passengers became ill, and February 26, when 10.4 percent of the passengers became afflicted. Celebrity said there was a decline in the spread of illness on the current sailing, but declined to give exact numbers.

The Charleston Post and Courier newspaper has reported the source of the outbreaks may be coming from land rather than the ship. The paper reported outbreaks at three nursing homes, one school and an event held in the city.

Stay tuned for more information on this breaking story.

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