Possible coronavirus case on cruise ship with 6,000 passengers docked in Italy

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By Claudio Lavanga and David K. Li  with NBC News World News
Image: Costa Smeralda
The Costa Smeralda cruise ship is docked in the Civitavecchia port 70km north of Rome on Jan. 30, 2020.   -   Copyright  Filippo Monteforte

ROME — More than 100 Americans are on board a cruise ship that has at least one passenger on board showing symptoms of the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

A 54-year-old female citizen of China, who is showing symptoms, and a person traveling with her have been put in "isolation on the onboard hospital," according to a statement from Costa Crociere, an Italian company that operates the Costa Smeralda ship, which is carrying 1,000 crew members and 6,000 passengers.

Of those travelers, 114 are American, a cruise line spokesman said.

"Costa Cruises confirms the sanitary protocol has been activated for a guest on-board of Costa Smeralda," the cruise operator said in a statement.

"As soon as the suspected case was detected, the Medical Team on board immediately activated all the relevant health procedures to promptly isolate and manage the clinical condition."

More than 7,800 people in China have been infected by the virus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan. China has reported 170 deaths.

Claudio Lavanga reported from Rome and David K. Li from New York