Norovirus Outbreak Hits Two Cruise Ships

February 5, 2012 Updated: February 6, 2012

Around 500 people have been infected with the norovirus on two Princess Cruise ships, the cruise line said on Sunday.

Spokesperson Julie Benson told CNN that there were 499 cases of the stomach virus, which is contagious and causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. “We’re working in close cooperation with the CDC to identify the cause,” she said, referring to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It will be necessary for the ship to undergo a prolonged and additional disinfection in Port Everglades on Sunday,” reads a statement from Princess Cruise lines to passengers of the Ruby Princess, according to CBS Miami. Around 3,000 of the ship’s passengers disembarked on Sunday for the cleaning process.

The Crown Princess was cleaned and resumed its trip on Saturday, Benson told CNN.

Princess Cruise is owned by Doral, Florida-based Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s largest cruise ship operator, which also subsidized Costa Crociere, the company that owned the Costa Concordia line that crashed last month, killing 17.