Monday, 31 December 2012

Outbreak of stomach illness reported on Queen Mary 2

By Tom Stieghorst

Outbreak of stomach illness reported on Queen Mary 2

Two environmental health officers and an epidemiologist from the federal Vessel Sanitation Program are expected to board the Queen Mary 2 when it docks in Brooklyn on Jan. 3 to assess an outbreak of illness on the ship.

About 7.5% of the passengers have been affected by an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, according to reports to the VSP. The ship is on a 12-night Caribbean Fiesta holiday cruise that began Dec. 22.

No cause has been assigned to the outbreak. Norovirus is often to blame for gastrointestinal outbreaks on land and sea during the winter months.

Cunard Line will conduct staged disembarkation of active cases to minimize the chance of transmission to healthy passengers, according to the VSP website.

Embarkation for the next cruise to Southampton, England, will be delayed to provide extra time for disinfection and cleaning.