Cruise Ship Norovirus Season Begins: 252 Passengers Sick On Ship Docked In Maine

When the cruise season kicked off in Portland, ME this weekend, it didn’t exactly get off to a great start. The first ship to dock in the city’s port is under surveillance for norovirus after more than 250 passengers reportedly became sick. 

The Balmoral, a ship owned by British company Fred Olson Cruise Lines, docked in Portland on Sunday after spending nearly a month at sea, CNN reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 252 of the 919 passengers onboard — including eight employees — have fallen ill with norovirus.

Officials for the CDC boarded the ship on April 30 to conduct an environmental health assessment, which eventually confirmed the existence of norovirus.

Since then the CDC says the cruise line has increased disinfection procedures, collected still specimens from passengers and sent the public health and sanitation manager from the cruise line’s corporate office to oversee sanitation procedures.

A spokeswoman for Portland tells WMTW that the city was alerted to about a half-dozen quarantined passengers and that CDC protocols to sanitize the ship were taking place.

The city’s mayor stopped by the ship shortly after it docked, welcoming passengers.

He told WMTV that he witnessed “people wiping things down constantly. We got onto the elevators and they wiped the elevators down.”

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines says it is cooperating with all investigation related to the illnesses. The ship left the Portland area Sunday evening.

Stomach bug strikes hundreds aboard British cruise ship [CNN]
Passengers aboard cruise ship docked in Portland sickened with norovirus [WMTV]

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