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The Oriana returns after outbreak of Norovirus

P&O Cruises has apologised to passengers who were affected by an outbreak of norovirus on one of its ships. More than three hundred people on the Oriana were struck down with the sickness bug during a ten day Christmas cruise.

The ship returned to Southampton this morning where it underwent extra cleaning. It is setting sail again in two hours time with hundreds more passengers to the Mediterranean. Andrew Pate has the story.

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10 cases of Norovirus on Azura cruise ship

P&O Cruises has confirmed that there are 10 people with symptoms of Norovirus onboard the Azura cruise ship this evening. It is due to return to Southampton tomorrow following an 11-night Iberia cruise, which departed December 4. There are 3,059 passengers on board.

There has been an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness among the passengers onAzura. 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.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

Enhanced sanitation protocols have already been implemented to help minimize transmission to other passengers. These comprehensive disinfection protocols have been developed by P&O Cruises in conjunction with U.K. and U.S. public health authorities.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

The safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority. As is currently standard procedure across our fleet, all the ship’s passengers 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 whilst ashore.

– Spokesperson for P&O Cruises

Norovirus: Where to get help and advice

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms typically begin 24-48 hours after infection with the virus. Sudden onset of nausea is usually the first sign of infection, followed by vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

How do you catch Norovirus?

Through contact with an infected person, as well as contact with surfaces – such as door handles and tables – that are contaminated with the virus. It is also caught by consuming contaminated food or liquid.

How do you avoid catching Norovirus?

Wash your hands frequently and avoid raw and unwashed foods.

  • Where can you get help and advice?
  • Call NHS Direct on 08454647 or click here
  • There is also more advice and information on the NHS Choices website here

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Passengers' tales of Norovirus outbreak on cruise ship

Passengers have been sharing their stories of what happened on board the Oriana cruise ship during a Norovirus outbreak on board. The liner docked in Southampton today, returning from a 10-day Baltic cruise. We caught up with some of the travellers as they left the cruise terminal.

P & O Cruises have confirmed that 300 of the 1,843 passengers on board caught the contagious Norovirus vomiting sickness.

National

Norovirus found on earlier cruise ship voyage

In a letter given to passengers when they boarded the P&O cruise liner Oriana ten days ago, the medical team admits that some passengers on a previous sailing had suffered from norovirus symptoms.

The company arranged for the liner to undergo an "extensive disinfection" while she was in Southampton. Some 300 passengers contracted norovirus during their trip.

Letter given to passengers on board the cruise ship P&O Oriana
Letter given to passengers on board the cruise ship P&O Oriana Credit: ITV News

Passengers leave ship hit by vomiting virus

Passengers disembark at the Mayflower Terminal Credit: ITV Meridian

Passengers have disembarked from the cruise ship Oriana after it returned to its home port of Southampton this morning. Some passengers on the liner contracted the Norovirus winter vomiting bug while on a ten day cruise to the Baltics. There have been claims that as many as 300 passengers fell ill.

Passengers return from a cruise to the Baltics Credit: ITV Meridian
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