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Flu outbreak sickens 82 on Royal Carribean cruise from Baltimore; none met coronavirus criteria, cruise line says

A flu outbreak sickened 82 people aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that returned to Baltimore last week, prompting the cruise line to isolate them and notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but none of the sick passengers and crew met the criteria for the coronavirus, a Royal Carribean spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

None of the passengers had transited the COVID-19′s regions of impact or interacted with anyone in those regions within 14 days of the onset of their symptoms, spokeswoman Melissa Charbonneau said.

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“An elevated number of guests and crew had flu-like illness or tested positive for influenza A or B and were placed in isolation, according to medical protocol," Charbonneau said in an emailed statement. “The CDC did not request coronavirus tests for any of the cases.”

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment late Friday afternoon.

Three more Marylanders are being tested for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease that has sickened more than 80,000 people globally, state officials confirmed this week.

The Grandeur of the Seas sails from the port of Baltimore’s cruise terminal to Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Amid the concerns about the coronavirus, cruise passengers leaving from Baltimore are now being screened before boarding the cruise ships, and anyone who has visited areas affected by the disease or who has come into contact with others who have been to those areas in the past two weeks will not be allowed to board, port officials said Thursday.

Anticipating a decrease in cargo due to the global outbreak, the operator of the port of Baltimore’s container terminal announced a reduction in the terminal’s hours beginning next week.

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