A second P&O cruise affected by gastrointestinal illness

By Tom Stieghorst
A second ship sailing for P&O Cruises in the U.K. has experienced an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, according to British press reports.

About 10 people of 3,059 people were ill on the Azura, which docked in Southampton after an 11-night Iberia cruise. A P&O statement said it suspected norovirus was responsible.

About 300 people were sickened on a previous 10-day cruise on P&O's Oriana, which returned from the Baltic on Dec. 15.

Winter brings a seasonal upswing in norovirus at sea and on land. The highly contagious virus can cause mild to severe flu-like symptoms for several days. Sick passengers are often confined to their cabin until the virus runs its course.

In the U.S., the most recent ship to report gastrointestinal illness through the Centers for Disease Control was the Amsterdam, which reported 10.8% of passengers and 1% of crew fell ill on a cruises that ended in San Diego on Dec. 5.

Three public health officers met the ship in San Diego and Holland America Line conducted "super-sanitization cleaning and disinfection" during an extended time in port, the health agency said.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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