Vomiting bug-hit cruise ship back in Britain

December 14, 2012

A liner hit by the winter vomiting bug during a pre-Christmas cruise arrived back in port in England on Friday after one passenger dubbed it a "plague ship".

About 300 of the 1,843 aboard the P&O liner Oriana on a 10-night Baltic cruise contracted the norovirus bug, a spokeswoman for P&O Cruises said, after the ship docked in Southampton.

The company said the illness had been "mild" and just five passengers still had "active symptoms" on Friday.

"There has been an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness among the passengers on Oriana. This illness is suspected to be Norovirus, which is highly contagious and typically transmitted from person to person.

"Norovirus is common throughout the UK, Europe and North America and has affected a number of schools, hospitals, nursing homes and children's day care centres," according to the statement.

Passenger Paul Gilman, 62, told the Daily Mail newspaper on Thursday: "It has been outrageous from start to finish. People were falling like flies, yet the crew were trying to insist everything was fine.

"Everyone is saying, 'this is a plague ship'. It's a living nightmare."

Passenger Brian Weston, 67, told the Daily Mail: "It's been a shambles from start to finish. Passengers became ill almost immediately we set sail and the outbreak swept like wildfire through the ship.

"At one stage there were dozens and dozens of people falling ill, though the ship's senior officers were trying to play it down."

His wife, Denise, 60, said: "A viral specialist who is a passenger told us the ship should not have set sail for 48 hours and should have gone through a deep clean."

P&O insisted that measures had been taken on board to attempt to minimise transmission of the virus.

"As is currently standard procedure across our fleet, all the ship's were provided with a precautionary health notice advising of widespread norovirus activity and the health measures to avoid contraction and spread, both on board and while ashore," the P&O spokeswoman said.

Oriana had left Southampton on December 4, with tickets costing up to £1,400 (1,725 euros, $2,257).

Related Stories

Food-safety expert warns, beware of Norovirus

March 1, 2012

The leading cause of foodborne disease is wreaking havoc this winter, according to a food-safety expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, who says people should try to limit their exposure to Norovirus and ...

Cruise ship crew member dies of meningitis in Italy

October 17, 2012

An Indonesian cruise ship crew member died of meningitis on Tuesday, nine days after being hospitalised with three colleagues in the western Italian port city of Livorno, health sources said.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.