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Fred. Olsen Cruises Confirms Flu Outbreak

September 8, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

fred olsenFred. Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed that several people currently on board the Balmoral have demonstrated symptoms of a viral infection with mild gastro-enteritis.

The total number of passengers on board is 1,280 with 516 crew. So far, 78 passengers have been affected; 72 are in isolation in their cabins to avoid further spread of the virus while six passengers have now been released. It is believed that the virus was introduced to the ship by a passenger who proved to be unwell shortly after departing from Dover.

The ship, currently on a nine-night around the British Isles cruise, departed Dover on Saturday September 5, and is due to end its cruise in Dover on September 14. The first port of call was Invergordon, but due to very heavy seas the next port of call—Kirkwall in Orkney—has been canceled and the ship is remaining at anchor off Portree on the Isle of Skye, until the weather improves. She will then visit Tobermory, Dublin, Falmouth and St Peter Port before returning to Dover.

In accordance with guidelines set down by the Health Protection Agency, staff throughout Balmoral have stepped up their hygiene and disinfecting regime.

The winter vomiting virus reportedly ranks second to the common cold in terms of number of infections. The virus causes an unpleasant but generally short-lived infection lasting one to two days from which people will usually recover without treatment.

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