Health Officials Monitoring Illness on Riverboat

OCTOBER 23, 2006 - Posted at 8:12 a.m. CDT

PADUCAH, KY - Health officials are monitoring food and hygiene practices aboard a St. Louis-bound riverboat after at least 36 passengers complained of flu-like symptoms.

The ill passengers on the Mississippi Queen were taken to a hospital in Hendersonville, Kentucky, as it made its way along the Ohio River from Cincinatti to St. Louis.

Kentucky health officials say the non-life threatening illness appears similar to Norwalk virus, a contagious ailment common among cruises, nursing homes and schools.  Tests are being done to determine for sure what made the passengers sick.

Ten were still hospitalized for observation today.  Most of the 525 passengers remained on board.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent a team to travel aboard the boat from Paducah to St. Louis.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)