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CDC: Cruise Ship Bug Was Newer Norovirus Strain

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File photo of a sign in the CDC's headquarters. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)

File photo of a sign in the CDC’s headquarters. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — A new strain of stomach bug was the virus responsible for almost 700 recent illnesses on a Caribbean cruise ship.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said by the new Sydney strain of norovirus was the cause of the illnesses on board Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.

The ship, carrying 3,050 passengers, docked in New Jersey last week after 630 passengers and 54 crew members grew ill during a Caribbean cruise. It was one of the largest norovirus outbreaks on a cruise ship in the last 20 years.

The Sydney strain emerged within about the last two years. It’s not considered unusually dangerous, but has quickly become a common cause of cases of vomiting and diarrhea that last a few days.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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