4 cruise ship passengers test negative for coronavirus

BAYONNE, N.J. (AP) — Four passengers who were taken to a hospital after their cruise ship arrived in New Jersey tested negative for a new virus that has sickened more than 20,000 and killed nearly 500, mostly in China.

Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that personnel with the Centers for Disease Control allowed the four passengers to be discharged from the hospital Saturday.

Three of the four people stayed in a cabin together and were diagnosed with the flu. The other person stayed in a separate cabin and did not have any symptoms, Murphy said.

The passengers were tested after their cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, docked and screened 27 passengers who had recently traveled from mainland China. The cruise ship had left Cape Liberty on Jan. 27 for an 11-day cruise to the Caribbean.

Officials said 23 passengers were cleared, all Chinese nationals, and taken to Newark Liberty International Airport for a flight back to China.

New Jersey has no confirmed cases of the new virus.

The new virus is in the coronavirus family that includes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. It causes fever, cough, shortness of breath and, in severe cases, pneumonia.


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