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Cruise ship affected by Norovirus returns

The cruise ship Oriana has returned to its home port of Southampton. Some passengers on the liner contracted the Norovirus winter vomiting bug while on a ten day cruise to the Baltics.

While there have been claims that hundreds of passengers have been affected, on Thursday P&O Cruises which owns the liner said fewer than ten cases have actually been confirmed.

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Norovirus sufferers on cruise ship confined to cabins

The cruise ship Oriana Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Health measures have been put in place on the cruise ship Oriana to prevent the spread of norovirus.

Suffering passengers have been asked to isolate themselves in their rooms and not leave the boat for day trips.

More than 150 passengers are thought to have contracted the stomach bug, ITV Meridian reports.

A spokeswoman for P&O Cruises said that six people on board have active symptoms today, but she was not able to confirm how many people have been affected in total.

Any medical charges incurred as a direct result of the outbreak will be covered by the company, the spokeswoman confirmed.

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More than 750,000 people could be affected by norovirus

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has warned that for every confirmed case of the stomach bug, there are likely to be a further 288 unreported sufferers.

There have been 2,630 confirmed cases so far this season, meaning that the real number could be 757,440.

A spokesperson for the HPA said: "Laboratory confirmed reports represent only a small proportion of the actual amount of norovirus activity in the community, because the vast majority of affected people do not access health care services as a result of their illness."

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