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Mar 18, 2010 9:48 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Cruise liner hit again with illness returns to SC

A cruise liner hit by an outbreak of stomach illness for the third trip in a row has returned to port in South Carolina.

Passengers began disembarking as the sun rose over downtown Charleston. The company said 364 of the more than 1,800 passengers on the Celebrity Mercury became ill on the cruise, which left March 8. It has been undergoing cleaning at sea and will be cleaned again in Charleston.

One of those who got sick was 61-year-old Linda McNeil of Hendersonville, N.C. She and her husband had heard about the earlier illnesses in the Mercury, but weren't going to cancel what was their first cruise.

McNeil says even though she was sick for a day or so, it wouldn't discourage her from cruising again. Tests linked the first outbreak to the common norovirus.

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