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Stomach virus strikes more than 200 on Royal Caribbean cruise

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas.

(Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean said Saturday that 220 people on board of one of the Caribbean cruise ships sick with a stomach virus during the trip.

A passenger told WSVN that the men began to show symptoms on Wednesday, two days after the Independence of the Seas departed from Port Everglades, Florida.

We went to the hospital and waited over an hour for help. They began to run in the water and basic foodstuffs.”

– Marsha Homuska, a passenger

Royal Caribbean said those affected were treated with over-the-counter medication provided by the ship’s doctors. The cruise line also encouraged passengers and crew to wash their hands often in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.

The Independence of the Seas back to Port Everglades on Saturday morning after a five-day trip. Disembarking passengers claimed that the number of cases overwhelmed the medical staff.

“We went to the medical facility and waited over an hour for help,” Marsha Homuska told WPLG. “They started running water and basic products.”

Another passenger, Victoria Nolan, told WPLG that the victims were vomiting in the ship of the elevators as they tried to get to the doctor. Nolan added that she gave up trying to get to the medical area, after they said we had to wait more than four hours.

Royal Caribbean said the cases represented less than 5 percent of the 5,547 people on board.

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