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Norovirus usually impacts a relatively small portion of passengers and crew onboard a cruise ship, but the frequency with which it happens is troubling for any traveler considering the trip.

More than 170 people have become sick with vomiting and diarrhea from norovirus aboard a Princess Cruises ship, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The 158 passengers and 14 crew members who became sick were aboard the company’s Crown Princess, which sailed Oct. 18 through today, according to the CDC’s website. The ship has 3,009 passengers and 1,160 crew members, the agency said.

“We have enacted our stringent disinfecting protocols developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which includes an extensive deep cleaning of the ship and the terminal in Los Angeles on Sunday before the ship embarks on its next voyage,” Susan Lomax, a spokeswoman for Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises, said today in an e-mail.

The 28-day cruise from Los Angeles sailed to Hawaii and Tahiti, she said.

A CDC officer is slated to board the ship in the Los Angeles area today to conduct an environmental health assessment and evaluate the outbreak, the CDC said. NBC News earlier reported the outbreak.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Higgins in San Francisco at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at Kevin Miller, Rita Nazareth.

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Tags: cdc, norovirus, princess cruises

Photo credit: Onboard the Crown Princess cruise ship. Heather Cowper / Flickr

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