Norovirus outbreak delays cruise ship at New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Port of New Orleans says a stomach virus outbreak delayed the departure of the cruise ship "Voyager of the Sea" this weekend.

Spokesman Chris Bonura says it left a couple hours late Saturday. He refers other questions to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which did not answer a call and email Sunday.

State epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Louisiana on Friday that a cruise ship might be coming in with a norovirus outbreak.

WDSU-TV reports that about 200 passengers became ill. The virus causes vomiting and diarrhea. It's easily spread in close quarters such as cruise ships and nursing homes.

Two other weekend outbreaks were reported on cruise ships home port in Florida. Cruise ships get disinfected after outbreaks.

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