An outbreak of norovirus has forced two cruise ships in the Caribbean to make early returns to their home ports in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Reports say a total of 248 people have been stricken on the two ships, the Crown Princess and the Ruby Princess.
Norovirus triggers severe gastroenteritis and is highly contagious. It is spread easily by person-to-person contact, especially through food or any items people touch.
Princess Cruise Lines say the ships will undergo a complete disinfection.
Norovirus is a viral infection that almost always include vomiting and/or diarrhea and may include muscle aches and low-grade fever.
Symptoms usually last only 48 to 72 hours and can be debilitating for the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems.