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More than 250 Passengers Aboard British Cruise Ship Affected by Norovirus Outbreak

May 09, 2016 07:06 AM EDT
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Just a week after CDC reported a norovirus outbreak in one of Disney's cruise ships, another outbreak of the contagious stomach bug was again reported in a British cruise ship that came from Southampton, England.

According to the report from CNN, 252 of 919 passengers aboard the Balmoral, a ship managed by Fred Olsen Cruises, showed signs and symptoms of norovirus. Eight of 520 crew members also sickened by the stomach bug.

In a press release stated by Fred Olsen Cruises last April 29, the cruise ship operator reported a gastro-enteritis type illness has affected a number of guests on board the Balmoral.

Upon docking at Baltimore, CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers and an epidemiologist boarded the cruise ship to conduct a thorough environmental assessment. Further investigation of the ship confirmed the existence of norovirus.

Crew members of Balmoral quickly responded to the stomach bug outbreak, increasing disinfection procedures, collecting stool samples from the passengers and sending information to public health and sanitation manager from their corporate office to oversee the sanitation procedures.

Balmoral left England on Aprils 16 for a 34-day "Old England to New England" cruise. Over the weekend the cruise ship docked in Portland, Maine.

According to the report of Portland Press Herald, Mayor Ethan Strimling greeted the first passengers and crew members to the city when they arrived at 7:30 a.m. last Sunday. Mayor Strimling boarded the ship and noted that the crew members are constantly wiping things down.

"It felt safe and secure," Strimling said.

During the ship's stay in Portland, six passengers showed symptoms of norovirus were isolated to their rooms for 48 hours.

The Balmoral gained a 96 over 100 from the Vessel Sanitation Program of CDC last September 2015. The passing score is 85 and over and all ships that have a failing score were not recommended to set sail.

The cruise ship, capable of boarding 1,350 guests is scheduled to return to Southampton on May 20.

Last week, Nature World News reported a similar norovirus outbreak in Disney's Wonder cruise ship affecting more than 100 passengers and crew members.

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