At least 158 passengers on board the Diamond Princess have been struck by a Gastrointestinal bug towards the end of a 12-Day New Zealand cruise.
The vessel which is operated by Princess Cruises arrived into Sydney, Australia today with passengers and some crew members with the bug. The Gastro sickness is common on ships but can also spread on land. Gastrointestinal can cause vomiting and diarrhea with many passengers staying inside their cabins to stop the spread.
The sickness is also known as Norovirus and to prevent the spread crew members will sanitize all public areas including hand rails and doors. Extra hand sanitizer is also put around the vessel and ship crew offer advice and suggestions on how to stop the spread.
Princess Cruises gave Cruise Hive the following statement:
We can confirm we’ve saw an increase in the number of guests with gastrointestinal illness on the previous voyage of Diamond Princess. We suspect the cause to be Norovirus (also known as the “stomach flu”) which is the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness in the developed world and causes widespread outbreaks on land.
In order to interrupt the spread of illness, we proactively initiated an extensive sanitation campaign onboard that was developed in conjunction with several international health authorities. This included such measures as thorough disinfection of high-touch surfaces like hand railings, door handles and elevator buttons; encouraging passengers to use correct hand washing procedures and enhancing this with the use of hand sanitizing gels placed throughout the ship; isolating ill guests in staterooms until they are non-contagious; encouraging guests to use their own stateroom’s bathroom facilities; and providing regular verbal and written communication about steps they can take to stay well while onboard.
The cruise ended on Feb. 4 in Sydney, Australia. The cruise departed from Sydney on January 23 on a 12-day Australia/New Zealand cruise
When Diamond Princess arrived back in Sydney the cruise line advised guests scheduled to board for the next voyage departing the same day that there would be a minor delay. The delay is for extra cleaning by crew members so the Gastro bug will not continue on the next voyage.
Diamond Princess will set sail on February 5 from Sydney, Australia on another 12-day cruise around New Zealand. Early in January 2016 the Crown Princess also had a Gastro outbreak, the bug on that ship hit more than 180 passengers and crew.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from the Norovirus.