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News

Health Highlights: March 9, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

More than 100 Passengers Fall Ill on Royal Caribbean Cruise

More than 100 passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were sickened by a gastrointestinal illness that might have been norovirus.

ABC News reported the incident on Friday, although the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention did not yet have information on the incident.

Almost 2,000 passengers and 772 crew members were traveling on Vision of the Seas, which had pulled into Port Everglades, Fla., Friday as it concluded an 11-night Caribbean cruise, according to ABC News.

The ill passengers were given over-the-counter medication while on the ship and had responded well, Royal Caribbean International said.

In a statement to ABC News on Friday, the cruise line said: "At Royal Caribbean International, we have high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning on board the ship to help prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, when Vision of the Seas arrived to Port Everglades, Fla., today, we conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing."

Another Vision of the Seas cruise set sail late Friday afternoon, although Royal Caribbean said passengers were given the option of rescheduling their cruise if they were not comfortable traveling on that ship at this time.

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Army Still Struggling with PTSD Diagnosis, Treatment: Report

The U.S. Army still has difficulty diagnosing and treating soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, even though it has more than doubled the number of military and civilian behavioral health workers over the past five years, according to an Army report.

It says that incompatible training and guidelines, confusing paperwork, and incompatible data systems are among the stumbling blocks, the Associated Press reported.

The Army has made progress in some areas, including reducing how long it takes soldiers to get a disability evaluation and publishing a guide to the process, the report said.

It's an important issue, as suicide deaths outnumber combat deaths among soldiers, according to the AP.

Last year, the Army had 183 suicides among active-duty soldiers, up from 167 in 2011. The U.S. military as a whole had 350 suicides in 2012, compared with 301 the year before.

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Global Temperatures Warmest in 4,000 Years: Report

Temperatures worldwide are warmer than at any time in the last 4,000 years and in the coming decades they could rise above levels that haven't occurred since before the last ice age, according to a new report published Friday in the journal Science.

The scientists said that even if the human activity-related global temperature increase projected for later this century is at the low end of estimates, the Earth will still be at least as warm as, or likely warmer than, it was during the warmest periods of the current geological era, The New York Times reported.

That era, called the Holocene, began about 12,000 years ago and brought a moderate climate that scientists believe led to the rise of human civilization about 8,000 years ago and continues to sustain it.

For this new report, scientists developed the most meticulous reconstruction yet of global temperatures over the past 11,300 years.

This is "another important achievement and significant result as we continue to refine our knowledge and understanding of climate change," Michael Mann, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, told The Times.

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