5th January 2010, 16:10
A quarter of the passengers on board a cruise ship were taken ill during an outbreak of norovirus.
More from BBC News... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/news/int/search/news%2Bsport/ship/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/8441741.stm)
7th January 2010, 21:43
I understand there is an outbreak of norovirus in Madeira where I think both Balmoral and Boudicca visited. Boudicca had three outbreaks, cleaned three times, and as I understand, three turn arounds with different passengers. This leads me to believe that aboard Boudicca at least one or crew members were the initial carriers just as it always was doing my era when working for P&O when we traced these outbreaks to galley crew. It is highly possible that a crew member went ashore for a meal as many do, and picked up the bug. If handling food on board, cross infection would follow quickly even if showing no initial symptoms. Cruise companies always blame passengers for bringing the bug aboard, but they should look a little closer to home sometimes especially when a ship is cleaned three times, and the bug is still there. And if a crew member was found to be the carrier, would they tell us?.
Once again however, whoever was the initial carrier aboard these two ships, the media always target cruise ships when in truth they are far better at trying to prevent cross infection than any hospital with their cleaning programme and ensuring all passengers use the hand gels when entering the ship and restaurants. And because these stomach bugs are rife shore side at present, it is quite extraordinary that cruise ships should be singled out. Compared to the numbers affected shore side, those affected aboard cruise ships are very small. But why spoil a good newspaper story [=P]