Costa passengers allowed off ship

Costa passengers allowed off ship

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The 6,000 passengers and crew aboard the Costa Smeralda cruise ship can breathe a sigh of relief: they can finally disembark after a passenger of Chinese nationality who had been sick was diagnosed with the flu – not the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.

The cruise line confirmed that Italian health authorities had diagnosed the passenger, a 54-year-old woman, with the common flu, a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly, told USA TODAY.  

The entire ship had been in lockdown in Civitavecchia for most of the day Thursday as they waited for the initial results of tests carried out by a medical team from Rome’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases. 

News of the quarantine came on the same day that the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a global emergency. Thursday also saw the confirmation of the first U.S. case of human-to-human transmission of the virus. 

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