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Cruise liner isolated in Brazil with 2 possible virus cases

SeattlePI.com Friday, 13 March 2020
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A cruise ship has been docked in isolation in northeastern Brazil after two passengers were found to have symptoms resembling that of the new coronavirus, local authorities said.

The Brazilian state of Pernambuco's health secretariat decided Thursday to keep the ship — with its 318 passengers and 291 crew members — in isolation in the capital of Recife, the agency said in a statement.

Officials did not immediately release the name of the ship.

Some passengers had disembarked before officials decided to isolate the ship and Brazil's health authority asked tourist agencies to facilitate the return of those people. Authorities took action to prevent additional passengers from leaving.

The first passenger suspected of having the virus was described as a 78-year-old man who displayed respiratory problems. Officials said the man was taken from the ship to a private clinic for treatment and testing for the coronavirus.

Authorities reported a second possible case Friday. That passenger had a fever and difficulty breathing, so was moved to a private health unit onshore to undergo the coronavirus test.

The result of the tests will dictate whether the ship's passengers are placed into quarantine, the state's health secretary, André Longo, said in an interview with the Globo television network.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
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