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Travel illness lawyer calls for swift action by cruise company

Balmoral passengers reported ill with norovirus

Cruise ship

9 May 2016

Health officials in the US have reported that hundreds of passengers travelling on the Balmoral cruise ship have fallen ill with norovirus.

The US Center for Disease Control said that more than 200 passengers, mostly British, became ill on the ship which is owned by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

The ship left Southampton on 16 April and arrived in Portland, Maine, on 8 May when health officials boarded the vessel to carry out tests on passengers who had fallen ill.

A number of crew members have also contracted norovirus, also known as winter vomiting bug.

The same ship is reported to have experienced outbreaks of norovirus in the past.  Norovirus is spread by human contact.

Fred Olsen Cruise Liners said that staff were "undertaking extensive sanitisation measures and cleaning of the ship".

Norovirus, whilst unpleasant, is unlikely to cause long-term health problems for most people who contract it.  Symptoms include the sudden onset of vomiting, and or diarrhoea, a raised temperature, headache and stomach cramps.

Some more vulnerable people, including the elderly or very young, may become more seriously ill.

Travel illness lawyer Clare Campbell said:

“It is important that a deep clean of the cruise ship Balmoral is carried out as quickly as possible to ensure that the stomach bug is eradicated.

“Many people on the ship will have had their holiday ruined by contracting norovirus, and some may take many weeks to recover.”

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