Princess Cruises has been hit by a gastric outbreak for the second time in two weeks. Over one hundred passengers onboard the Sun Princess have been struck down by the highly contagious norovirus.
The Sun Princess returned to the Australian port of Brisbane today after a 14-day cruise around New Zealand. Local health authorities confirmed at least 140 passengers fell victim to the Sun Princess gastro outbreak. A similar outbreak afflicted 90 guests during the ship’s previous voyage to remote Papua New Guinea.
Symptoms of a norovirus attack include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain or cramps. These symptoms usually begin between 24 and 48 hours after exposure to the virus and can last for up to two days. Norovisus is spread through airborne particles and contact with vomit or fecal matter of an infected person.
As we have previously reported, doctors recommend regular hand washing and sanitisation as the best means of preventing norovisus outbreaks on cruise ships.
Passengers report that Sun Princess staff were decontaminating rooms dressed in hazmat suits. CrusieOyster understand that some guests chose to disembark early whilst the ship was still in New Zealand and return home at their own expense, fearful of the Sun Princess gastro outbreak.
Princess Cruises have issued a statement saying that a deep clean of the Sun Princes is now underway. “On any given day during the cruise 12 to 15 of the 2,000 guests were in self-isolation while symptoms ran their course before they returned to their usual cruise activities,” the statement said. “At no stage during the cruise was there a large number of guests ill at any one time.”