Cruise ship returns to U.S. after passenger is tested for Ebola - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Cruise ship returns to U.S. after passenger is tested for Ebola

One week after it left port, the Carnival Magic returned to Galveston Sunday morning, with some very frustrated passengers on board.

A New Orleans resident named Jennifer, who didn't want to give her last name, explains, “A long planned vacation that's supposed to be memories of a lifetime and it just wasn't able to be that now for a lot of people.”

The ship was to make three stops at sea, the last in Cozumel, Mexico but Mexican authorities wouldn't let the ship dock after they learned of a health care professional on board who, while working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, handled a lab specimen of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan. Duncan later died from the virus.

Jennifer says she and other passengers found out about the health care worker on the morning they were to dock in Cozumel. “I think that everyone was feeling pretty panicked but they were trying to keep as calm as they could,” said the New Orleanian.

The woman didn't show any symptoms of Ebola before boarding the cruise ship and according to Dr. Brobson Lutz, wasn't really at any risk of being infected. “The possibilities of her getting infected are just so, so far remote from handling that tube of blood,” Lutz explained.

While on the ship, a helicopter dropped off a testing kit. The results showed the woman does not have Ebola. Still, passengers say they wish she hadn't stepped on board in the first place.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Lines says the company is taking every pre-caution to re-assure future travelers that the ship is clean. “We're doing everything possible to do an aggressive sanitation protocol on the ship so we're cleaning everything down from the handrails to the door knobs and the poker chips in the casino,” said the spokesperson.

Carnival gave it's passengers a $200 credit on the room accounts, to make up for the lost stop in Cozumel and 50 percent off another trip. But New Orleans resident Jennifer, says it doesn't take away the stress she and others endured on what was supposed to be a family vacation of a lifetime.

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