Bug cuts cruise short

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Cases of the winter vomiting bug have been reported at 34 hospitals in Britain in the past two weeks and outbreaks are sweeping schools and other institutions in north America. No surprise, then, that there have also been incidences of norovirus on cruise ships, where it can spread quickly, if unchecked, among a closed community.
Two ships arriving in Fort Lauderdale at the weekend reported outbreaks, as did one based in New Orleans. After a further outbreak, one of the ships is cutting short its current week-long voyage in order to return to port two days early for a thorough deep-clean.
Crown Princess will return to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow after 114 passengers of the 3,078 on board were reported to be suffering from gastro-intestinal illness. A further 59 members of crew are also affected. Last week, 364 passengers and 30 crew were affected.
Ruby Princess, also sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and Voyager of the Seas, in New Orleans, were the other ships affected last week.
A specialist team will be on board Crown Princess to clean cabins and public rooms. Princess says it will provide full refunds to all passengers on the cruise, plus a 25 per cent discount on a future booking.
Norovirus, sometimes known as 24-hour flu, causes upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhoea. American health authorities estimate there are more than 20 million cases a year. The US Centre for Disease Control requires cruise lines to notify outbreaks affecting more than 3 per cent of passengers and crew.
Thorough hand-washing and sensible hygiene procedures are the best way of controlling its spread, and all cruise ships provide hand gels at the entrance to restaurants, buffets and bars.

By | 2012-02-08T15:35:51+00:00 8 February 2012|Cruise news|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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