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U.S. tourist dies on cruise ship

An American tourist died aboard a cruise liner docked in the port of Rio Tuesday after Brazilian authorities were told that 86 people on board had been sickened by stomach flu.

The woman died aboard the MS Veendam, a luxury vessel owned by the U.S. cruise company Holland America Line which sailed from Valparaiso, Chile and docked with 1,800 people on board, most of them foreigners, officials said.

Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), in a statement sent to AFP, said the woman “died from cardiovascular problems.” But it added that confirmation of the cause of the death “can only be announced after an autopsy.”

Anvisa said the ship’s medical service had reported 86 cases of gastro-enteritis during the journey – 79 among the passengers and seven among the crew. The agency said two other cases have been reported over the past two days, but only one passenger still showed symptoms when its team went aboard in Rio. The agency made it clear that the Veendam had duly notified Brazilian health authorities about the gastro-enteritis cases and taken all necessary measures to control the outbreak. The ship stopped over in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay before docking in Rio.

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